RESIDENTS have been left shocked and fearing for children's safety after stone thieves struck yet again.

Around six flag paving stones were stolen from the street of Avenue Parade in Accrington on Friday night.

This is not the first time paving stones have been stolen, with the street having already been victim to the crime once in recent months.

However stone thieves have also struck in other areas of Hyndburn in recent months including in Lime Road.

People living near Avenue Parade have been left stunned at the latest thefts and believe there could be a safety risk.

Resident Joanne Gaynor said: "It's quite shocking to see.

"We've no idea who it could be.

"It's dangerous as there's so many children up and down avenue parade to go to the park as well as my own."

The road leads to The Coppice park which has led to increased worries of the safety issues the missing slabs could cause as it has left a 'severe and deep hole'.

Other people in the area are calling for everyone to be more vigilant to catch those who were responsible.

Resident Anthony Jordan, 36, said: "This is the second time this has occurred on this stretch of pavement.

"Other nearby streets have also had stones stolen.

"It's just disappointing and annoying to see more than anything.

"I's dangerous, people need to go into the road to walk around, the hole is massive.

"With the park just along the road there's a lot of people with disability problems or with pushchairs, it's real nuisance.

"If anyone is having work done on their property which involves flag stones I hope they will inquire as to where the paving stones came from. "

It is now feared by residents that a market has developed for such stones.

Last year dozens of coping stones were stolen from Oakhill Park in Accrington.

Paving stones were also stolen from Huncoat Peace Garden in January and Stanhill Gardens in Oswaldtwistle has also faced the same problems recently.

Councillors have said they have reported the issue to the police and Lancashire County Council and urged residents to act if they see something.

Cllr Paddy Short, who represents the Peel ward where the street is on Hyndburn Council, said: "What I would say is if anyone sees anything suspicious at all to contact the police.

"It's happened before around this ward it's very annoying.

"The problem is its hard to catch those responsible, once the stones are gone its hard to trace them.

"It can be very dangerous to people in the area."