COMMUNITY leaders have hit at out mindless yobs who have brought terror to their communities.
It follows a series of shocking unrelated incidents coinciding with warmer weather and lighter nights in the borough.
Police and firefighters were pelted with bottles and stones as they responded to reports of a rubbish fire on wasteland off Hyndburn Road in Accrington.
In an unrelated incident, a Brownie group was left terrified after a ‘bomb bag’ was thrown into a meeting at a church in Rishton making a loud exploding noise.
Locals have also reacted with fury after a defibrillator, which had been placed in Clayton-le-Moors, was wrecked by vandals.
A local scout group had raised £1,500 for the equipment, which significantly boost the chances of survival of anyone who has suffered a heart attack.
The incidents have led to fears that lighter nights and warmer weather could see a rise in anti-social behaviour across the borough.
Council leader Miles Parkinson said: “For an individual through madness and stupidity to cause mayhem and put people’s lives at risk is just beyond the pale.
“These people simply need to be caught and prosecuted to send a message to other individuals.”
Former council leader Coun Peter Britcliffe said: “One can only hope with the lighter nights coming these problems do not get worse”.
Fire crews from Hyndburn station had been called to reports of rubbish fires on wasteland off Hyndburn Road in Accrington when they were targeted.
A Hyndburn fire station spokesperson said: “While we were attending we came under attack and a couple of youths were throwing stones and bottles at us.
“Several of them struck one of the fire engines causing damage to the windscreen. No firefighters were hit. They had hoodies on covering their faces so we don’t know how old they were.”
The incident happened at around 9pm on Sunday, March 20.
However, firefighters were called back to the site near Matalan a short time later following another rubbish fire and were supported by police.
A Lancashire Police spokesperson said: “We have also gone to the scene and they have thrown things at the police vehicles as well before making off.”
No arrests have been made.
John Taylor, from Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “People who do things like attacking fire engines aren’t thinking, they don’t make the connection about what they are doing and their own safety.
“They could have taken out a firefighter or an engine that could be used to save lives.”
Clayton-le-Moors ward councillor Tim O’Kane added: “Police and firefighters are the very people who protect us. We need to bring the terrors who are doing this to justice.”
And Ian Gregg, owner of Lily Mae’s Bistro in King Street, agreed. He said: “They could kill somebody throwing bricks and bottles. We must catch them. The courts are too lenient with these people.”
The incident follows separate reports of stones being thrown at windows and properties in Baxenden.
PCSO Suzanne Liddle said: “We’ve had a number of incidents of stone throwing recently and two windows were damaged. “We are hoping to nip this in the bud.”
Police also confirmed they had received reports of vans being broken into in the area with tools and electrical equipment stolen.
Baxenden ward councillor Terry Hurn said: “It’s not good at all. We’ve just got a youth club going in Baxenden and I thought that would alleviate some of the problems.
“The problem is finding kids something to do really, especially now the nights are getting lighter.”
Anyone with information should call police on 101 quoting log number 1392 of March 20.