THE teenage ringleader of a gang of yobs who terrorised a neighbourhood has been slapped with an Anti-Social Behaviour Order.
Residents of Church welcomed the move restricting 14-year-old Brendan Duff after two years of hell.
Barely a teenager, tearaway Duff, who lives in Barnes Street, Church, has been arrested on several occasions for causing damage, burglary, assault and harassment, and has come to police attention for a catalogue of other minor offences.
In the past he has been sent to the Oswaldtwistle Pupil Referral Unit, a centre for youngsters excluded from school.
Sergeant Bob Eaton of Accrington Police said: "He has been the focal point of a gang of youths who have made the lives of residents within the Barnes Street area of Church Kirk a living nightmare."
Community beat manager for Church, PC Lisa Evans, has worked hard with residents in the area, who, over a period of time, have gained the confidence to come forward and outline their concerns.
She said: "We have repeatedly arrested this youth, worked with his parent and tried everything else to stop him from committing crime and nuisance.
"If he breaches these conditions we will arrest him and hopefully the courts will not mess about with him."
Sgt Eaton added: "This has taken a while to put together. It is the second police-led ASBO on PC Evans' beat this summer.
"He now has a choice. He can either grow up or risk custody."
Alan Pearson, of Church Kirk Residents' Association, said: "He was a real menace on the streets and it's time he was brought down a peg or two.
"He must learn to live in peace with the community. There are lots of bad types in Church and it only takes one to cause trouble.
"We are really delighted with the ASBO because it shows if people stick together we can clean up our communities."
The conditions of Duff's ASBO include:
- Not to cause alarm, harassment or distress to any person.
- Not to associate with eight named individuals, details of whom will be provided to residents.
- Not to attend or be found in a school or any public place under the influence of drugs or having consumed alcohol.
- Not to enter any private property or vehicle without the owner's permission.
- Not to throw or place any objects on or against private or business premises.
- Not to cause criminal damage.
- Not to enter Barnes Street or France Street communal park except with his mother.