SCHEMES to combat gangs of youths who are wreaking havoc in residential areas are to be given top priority by an East Lancashire council.

Hyndburn Borough Council policy and resources committee was told police had identified "hotspots" in the borough where juvenile nuisance was a particular problem.

These were based on the number of disgruntled residents who had contacted the police.

Problem areas included Willows Lane, Accrington, where 27 calls had been received from residents, followed by Hollins Lane in the town where 26 calls had been logged.

Other areas included Water Street, Accrington, Blackburn Road and Stanhill Lane, Oswaldtwistle, Queen Street, St Hubert's Road and Church Street, Great Harwood, and Alexandra Close, Clayton-le-Moors.

Councillors were told police costs for tackling the problem were very high and it was essential schemes were given top priority.

Both the council and police now intend to prepare a list of their juvenile initiatives to combat the problem.

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