POLICE have launched a crackdown on nuisance youths in Darwen.

Operation Eject, is aimed at youngsters hanging around the Priory, Turncroft Road, Ashton House, Redearth Road areas as well as at Turncroft and St Peter's Schools.

It has come about after calls from residents to police more than doubled, despite an initiative to make juveniles aware of problems they are causing over the half term break.

Operation Eject has been formulated by Sgt Graham Marshall of Darwen Police and will be carried out by both uniformed and plain clothes officers.

Patrols will be stepped up and anyone hanging about in a group will be given a letter telling them police are monitoring the situation after a number of residents complained of being subjected to drunken behaviour and a number of criminal damage incidents including arson attacks.

If the youngsters use offensive behaviour police will either write to their family or take them home and speak to their parents.

Sgt Marshall said: "The idea is not to persecute the youth of that area but to respond to many complaints we have received.

"We want to build up a good relationship with the vast majority of youths who are law abiding. When people, particularly the older members of the community look out of a window and see a group of youths they automatically think they are up to no good when in fact they are just chatting and doing nothing wrong.

"I would prefer youths to hang around in groups as it provides more security for them. I would ask though if they are to congregate in large groups, do it outside their own house or at the shelter on Turncroft Road."