A TEENAGER was left seriously injured after he was allegedly hit with a baseball bat during a fight in a town centre.

Police were called to Skipton Road, Barnoldswick following the brawl at around 7.30pm on Friday.

One teenager suffered a cut to the back of his head and was taken to hospital, accompanied by a family member, PCSO Alisa Gill said. The injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.

Sgt Hitchen said: “A criminal investigation is taking place, CCTV is being viewed and we will deal robustly with anyone found to be responsible.”

Officers were made aware of a pre-planned fight that was set to take place between two rival teen gangs, one from Barnoldswick and the other from out of town, after seeing comments made about it on social media.

Sgt Hitchen said: “Unfortunately due to other demands in the area we could not be everywhere at once but have immediately responded to several reports of fighting around Skipton Road and the town centre.

“We have very quickly located a youth with a significant head injury sustained, allegedly, from a blow from a baseball bat.

“Any reasonable member of the community would agree that what has been witnessed is wholly unacceptable and is something we haven’t seen in this area before.”

Cllr David Whipp, who represents the area, said: “The level of violence is beyond belief and no doubt the police are treating this very seriously.”

He also stressed there should be more police in the town and said: “I think this underlines the need for greater police presence and more patrols which can react more quickly to events like this happening.” 

Skipton Road residents said the violence was ‘unacceptable’.

Barnoldswick resident Michael Butler, 28, who has lived on Skipton Road all his life, said: “I heard banging outside and thought someone was hitting my car but a group of teenagers were whacking the van parked outside my neighbour’s house.

"I saw the unusually big group, about 30 of them, on the street between 8pm and 8.30pm. They looked between 14 and 16 years old."

Sheila Cusworth, 62, who has lived on Skipton Road for over 40 years, said: “Barnoldswick is a lovely town but unfortunately this area is particularly bad.

“Teenagers coming out of town and doing this sort of thing is out of order. It’s unacceptable when weapons are involved.” 

Anyone who witnessed the assault or can provide the police with information is asked to email 1123@lancashire.pnn.police.uk