Residents in Stanley, County Durham have spoken out as The Sun Online found reports that children as young as ten are part of gangs causing trouble at the main bus stop in the town.
Footage released this week showed a mob surrounding cops who were called out to deal with reports of a "vulnerable female" at a bus station – with one yob even punching an officer in the face.
But the shock scene is the just the latest Wild West-style incident in lawless Britain as The Sun Online travelled to Stanley to hear the resident's shocking stories – and their fear of the unruly youths.
Pamela Murphy, 75, has lived in Stanley with her husband Hugh, 75, all her life but told The Sun Online is now is too frightened to get off at that bus station.
She said: "It's disgusting. Where on earth are the parents? People are very scared. I used to go to my friends on a Monday then I would come back to Stanley on the bus. At times I didn't get off the bus, I used to stay on and go further, as I was just too frightened. It's just horrifying, it's terrible."
She added: "The seats at the bottom two stands would always be full of teenagers. They have got no respect for nobody. What can the police do if they have got 60 of them jumping on them? It's very scary."
One woman, who has lived near the bus station for 16 years, said: "It's not something you want to hear from kids. I have seen all of this going on, with the kids hanging around over there, it doesn't surprise me in the slightest.
"I would say they are between the ages of ten and 16 or 17.
"You can see the younger ones running around with them and you think 'oh my god they shouldn't even be out'."
Young mum-of-five Sarah Cairns, 32, has claimed that her family is now looking to move from the area because they are so frightened.
She said: "I want to move, it's not a nice place to live. Sometimes there aren't that many of them, sometimes there are about 30 of them."
She added: "It's not just at the bus station, it's all around here. They smash the windows out in the bus station. I think it's disgusting. These teenagers do it all the time. They have no respect for the police and call them 'plastic police'."
Residents have also claimed that the teens are responsible for throwing eggs at local businesses.
And mum Kelley Stothard, 39, who has lived in the town her whole life, is concerned that her 12-year-old daughter is going to follow in the footsteps of the teenagers causing trouble.
She said: "It really does worry me. My sister has no children and she said she's pleased she doesn't because of the way things are."
An employee who works at the nearby Stanley Central Club said they have had teenagers on their roof, kicking their door and drinking in their toilets.
She said: "I feel intimidated when I'm leaving at night time. They're animals."
Mary Richardson, 58, who lives in nearly Southmoor, claimed that the teenagers appeared to be abusing substances.
The former carer said: "They've no respect. They're not frightened of anybody. There are a lot of kids at night, they are just waiting about drunk and off their heads on drugs."
Her sister-in-law Tracy Thurlaway, 52, added: "Things are getting worse. It's not just kids from around Stanley, it's kids from other areas as well. A lot of parents are at work, they don't know what they're up when they're out and about."
William Quinn, 74, lives in a bungalow near the bus station, added: "They're undermanned, there's not enough police for the place. There's no deterrent for the teenagers. They know they're going to get away with it."
The violent incident comes as crime in the area has rocketed 20 per cent in the last year while numbers of officers in the area continue to dwindle.
Stats seen by The Sun Online show that reported crime has shot up from 835 reported crimes in January to September 2017 to 999 in the same period this year.
Meanwhile, Durham Police have seen an 18 per cent drop in their workforce since 2010 – compared to the national average of 15 per cent.
One resident, who did not want to be named, claimed that the shrinking police workforce has empowered teens, saying: "It's just getting worse. They're not scared of the police at all."
After the video footage caught was caught on an officer's dashcam, the police in the area are now urging parents to take better responsibility for their children.
One resident described the latest episode as "horrendous" and claimed that there is "a massive problem" of kids as young as 10 are running around in gangs.
In the video taken on body cameras, officers can be heard saying: "We are asking people nicely to move away" before tensions rise further and they shout: "Everybody out, move back now."
Police have now created a text message service which alerts parents when there is trouble in the town centre so they can collect their kids.
Sergeant Emma Kay said: "Disorder of this kind is totally unacceptable and violence against our officers will not be tolerated.
"Action will be taken against all the individuals involved that night and Stanley Police will continue to take positive action against anyone involved in this type of behaviour."
"Parents were asked to come and review the footage from the officers' body cams that night and they all agreed the behaviour of the children was appalling.
"While there is a hardcore group of individuals involved in this incident, there are many more people stood on the sidelines, young people who are going to affect their life chances by continuing to engage in this type of behaviour."
"We are asking for parents to step up to the plate, take responsibility for your children. Do you know where they are, or are they going to bring trouble to your door?"
Earlier this month, Durham police raided a sweet shop in South Moor, near Stanley, where they discovered white powder, thought to be amphetamine.
After a tip-off, officers and sniffer dogs raided the convenience store and arrested a man, 56, and a woman, 50, on suspicion of drug dealing.
Rise in crime in Stanley
Crime in the area has rocketed 20 per cent in the last year.
Stats seen by The Sun show that reported crime has shot up from 835 reported crimes in January – September 2017 to 999 in the same period this year.
Durham Police have seen an 18 per cent drop in their workforce since 2010 – compared to the national average of 15 per cent.
They cover 936 square miles.
Shockingly 65 per cent of crime in the area went unresolved last year.
Rises between October 2017 and September 2018 include:
- Anti-social behaviour up 24 per cent to 299
- Burglary up 3 per cent to 38
- Criminal damage and arson up 9.5 per cent to 119
- Public order offences up 8 per cent to 102
- Shoplifting up 12 per cent to 153
- Violence and sexual offences up 29 per cent to 364
A spokesman for the force said: “Families with children were regular customers at the premises, which is right in the heart of the village and straight opposite a nursery.
“We have confiscated the contents of the shop because we couldn’t take the risk that some of those loose sweets might become contaminated with a potentially dangerous substance."
Durham police and Stanley local council did not reply to The Sun's request for comment at the time of publication.
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