FIVE cars owned by leaders of a community forum have been attacked in a £5,000 spree by vandals.

Now a new anti-crime action group has been formed in the Daneshouse area of Burnley, following the wave of attacks.

Cars owned by Community Forum leaders were targeted with damage estimated at more than £5,000.

A Nissan Primera owned by Forum leader and Burnley Liberal Democrat councillor Mozaquir Ali, was attacked with acid in Burns Street.

On the same night, four cars owned by Forum member Shah Hussein and Burns Street mosque secretary Abdul Malik, were attacked outside their homes, with bodywork damaged, windows smashed and upholstery slashed.

Now, after an urgent call for action, a joint meeting between police and community groups has set up the Daneshouse Community Action Group to combat crime in the district.

Coun Ali welcomed the move stating: "Something had to be done. Attacks on our members' cars -- mine has been damaged several times in recent years -- has been a problem for some time.

"We suspect a political motive, but I must stress we do not believe leaders of rival organisations either promoted, had knowledge of or supported these criminal actions. They, like us, condemn this sort of thing."

Coun Ali explained that by political opponents he meant people who opposed him and fellow ward Liberal Democrat Coun Arif Khan, whose car had also been attacked in the past, or those who opposed the activities of the Community Forum which represented the majority of Asians in the Daneshouse area.

He added: "However, people are very angry.

"And a joint organisation to tackle crime is needed to prevent people taking matters into their own hands with reprisals."

He added: "I welcome the police interest and involvement in the new group."

Inspector John Clucas, who attended the meeting, said the car crime was just one aspect of community safety which would be tackled by the group.

The group would comprise various agencies, as well as community members.

"Obviously we are very concerned about any aspect of criminal activity.

"And the new group can only be a good thing," he added.