Youths are ‘terrorising and harassing’ residents in parts of Malton, North Yorkshire Police say.
And officers are concerned for the safety of the youths as they provoke people to breaking point.
Ryedale Neighbourhood Policing Team say there are “persistent issues of large groups of youths causing anti-social behaviour by kicking/ punching doors and then running away in the Malton area.
“These incidents have become very frequent and are terrorising and harassing residents on a regular basis.
“This has now gone far past the stage of what might be perceived by some as ‘kids being kids.”
The youngsters are also thought to be responsible for cases of criminal damage.
Youths gather in large groups and police are “working to identify” them.
Police say: “The incidents are having a huge impact on the mental wellbeing and quality of life of many of our residents including some of the most vulnerable in our community.
“Some residents are being targeted three to four times per night on a weekly basis.
“We are seriously concerned also for the safety of the young people involved who see no risk to angering residents who may be so provoked to act on their own accord.
“This of course, is also unacceptable behaviour so please do not be tempted to do this.”
The police say their response includes:
- Regular patrols of the affected areas
- Taking details of those youths found to be involved and visiting their parents to “make them aware of their child’s choice of actions”
- Visiting the local schools to address the issue
- Actively dispersing gangs of youths by way of dispersal orders.
“Any youths causing these issues could be recorded on police systems and issued with a Section 35 dispersal order for anti-social behaviour as a minimum,” they say.
Police added: “We would like to ask parents in the Malton/Norton area to talk to your kids, find out what they are doing , where they are going, who they are with, and to warn them about the consequences of anti-social behaviour.
“Anyone falling victim to this behaviour is encouraged to report it to the police so we can respond in live time.”
You can report incidents on 101 or via the North Yorkshire Police website.