PRANKSTERS who choose to cover the town centre in silly string at Christmas are being warned it will not be tolerated.
Last year, police officers confiscated 80 spray cans after yobs squirted the substance across the town on the night of the Christmas lights switch-on in Accrington.
However, this year officers are taking a zero tolerance stance and are urging youngsters to behave or face an appearance before the town's magistrates.
This year's festive lights switch-on will take place on Thursday 23 November.
PC Steven Hilton said: "It seems to have become a bit of a tradition now. This will be my fourth Christmas in Accrington and it has happened every year so far.
"It always seems to happen on the night of the switch-on and at no other time. It leaves the town looking very untidy and costs the council a lot of money to get it cleaned up.
"The offenders are spraying it on each other and people who are walking past are becoming caught up in the crossfire. We are not being killjoys but they are committing a public order offence and can face a fixed penalty or be brought before the courts for it."
Local traders are also being asked to monitor who they sell the silly string and snow sprays to. Officers will be on patrol during the night and will be on the lookout for anyone who is being a nuisance.
PC Hilton added: "It is always a busy night and a lot of people come along to see the entertainment but there are a group of youngsters who take it a step too far and we will not allow it anymore."