MORE than 20 police staged a special crackdown in a trouble-spot rife with juvenile nuisance.
The officers implemented the top-secret purge just a week after Hyndburn's crime czar, Councillor Doug Hayes, said crime and anti-social behaviour were getting "out of hand" in Oswaldtwistle.
The crackdown, Operation Extant, involved uniformed and plain clothes officers, police support officers, special constables, neighbourhood wardens and the Operations Support Unit flooding into Oswaldtwistle town centre on Friday night.
Sergeant Bob Eaton, of Accrington Police, said: "The public are sick to the back teeth of these youths. We have been planning this response for some time and will be running this for the next few weeks and beyond if necessary.
"I am advising parents that they need to be aware of our intent. If we find even minor transgressions of the law, we will be making arrests or issuing fixed penalties.
"In the long run we will identify ringleaders and will be looking to take out ASBOs. We are not pussyfooting around this problem any longer."
He added that gangs of up to 30 teenage yobs had been "running amok" through Oswaldtwistle, swearing at residents, drinking alcohol, throwing eggs, overturning dustbins and causing other minor damage.
During the crackdown, which also covered Spring Hill in Accrington, two off-licences were reported for selling alcohol to children; out-of-hand juveniles were taken home to their parents; and alcohol was confiscated from under-age drinkers.
Councillor Hayes, who represents the town's St Oswald's ward, said: "The public made a cry for help and I'm pleased with the police's response. It's a pity it's taken such a large force to address the problems, which aren't caused by all youngsters.
"But there is a minority who do vandalise property and cause trouble and we won't tolerate it."