A GANG of youths which drove a forklift truck around a factory after breaking in have been forced to meet with bosses from the firm.

The eight youngsters avoided court and were instead ordered to take part in the restorative justice programme.

They met with bosses from Carlson Filtration, in Barnoldswick, and heard how their actions had impacted on the company.

The group broke into the factory, in Butts Mill, last month, and drove forklift trucks around, causing £2,000 worth of damage.

Managing director Brian Gabbett and financial director Richard Bickley also took part in the meeting along with police.

Mr Gabbet said: “The youths seemed genuine in their apology and hopefully we have done enough to stop them from re-offending.”

The youths were given the chance to explain their actions in the meeting, which was set up by local neighbourhood officers PCs Mark Hyde and Matt Lunney.

Mr Gabbett told the gang that the roof could have collapsed on them as they climbed on it, and that they were putting their lives at risk by driving around on forklift trucks without qualifications.

At one point they came close to crashing a truck into a pillar supporting the roof.

Mr Bickley also explained the financial implications of their actions on the company and its 45 employees.

He said: “These actions caused more than £2,000-worth of damage to a local business which in these hard times is very difficult to come to terms with.”

Following the meeting the youths agreed to do unpaid volunteers work in the factory grounds to make amends for their actions.

Restorative justice orders have been introduced by police to make offenders take responsibility for their crimes and let them see how it effects other people.

Earlier this month three teenagers met with church members at All Saints Church, in Earby, after causing £15,000 worth of damage in September.