HYNDBURN residents have clubbed together to buy four new hi-tech spy cameras in a bid to rid their neighbourhoods of hooligans.
The new devices will be used to combat anti-social behaviour and gather evidence against criminals.
It is a joint initiative between five residents' associations in the Milnshaw, Church, Church Kirk, West Accrington and Laneside areas.
Each group has donated £100 towards the scheme, as well as £1,000 from Eavesbrook Housing, £1,000 from the Working in the Community group and a £250 donation from the Skipton Building Society.
Chairman of Milnshaw Residents' Association, Aidan Unwin, explained: "We have bought four cameras and a piece of recording equipment.
"It is hi-tech and gives us a clear picture of what is going on. It would be no use buying something for less as we are after definite results.
"It is very sad that we have to spend money like this with other things going on, but we live in a world where we have neanderthals walking the streets."
The residents' groups are now working in partnership with their local community beat manager, PC Lisa Evans, to take the scheme forward.
Mr Unwin said: "She has been fantastic. She comes to all our meetings. It was her original idea in January, so we are very pleased it is finally happening."
Once the scheme is up and running, residents will be able to make requests to have a camera fitted to their home or shop premises.
Special stickers are also being produced warning people that CCTV cameras are keeping watch.
Mr Unwin continued: "The cameras are not designed to be in one place all the time. If residents in one of the five areas are having problems, such as hooliganism or vandalism, we will get engineers to install a camera for an indefinite period.
"We are working alongside Eavesbrook Housing to get signs on lamp-posts saying CCTV is in the area to comply with the law. Once the stickers are up we can start using it. If it makes people think twice about their behaviour, it shows it is working."
Inspector Julian Platt, head of Accrington Police, said: "I want to applaud the residents' associations. This is all about problem-solving. I think this will have a significant impact and that these people will use the cameras responsibly."
PC Evans said: "These cameras will not only act as a deterrent but also reassure the residents and make them feel safer."