Youths terrorising Hartlepool residents
Police aim to clamp down on gangs of youths who are frightening residents.
Hartlepool police say anti-social behaviour in the Mill House area of the town is causing distress to the public.
One pensioner was even too frightened to walk past the gangs.
A spokesman for the Neighbourhood Police Team, said: "Recently there have been increasing reports of anti-social behaviour in the Mill House Area.
"Youths are using the Mill House Skate Park as a point of congregation before causing problems for the local amenities such as the Mill House Pub, leisure centre and the indoor bowls club.
"Typically these youths have been shouting and swearing at members of the public and refusing to leave the area when asked to do so.
"One incident recently involved an elderly lady having to be escorted to her car as she was too afraid to walk across the car park alone."
He said this behaviour is not acceptable and police will be stepping up patrols in the area, both on foot and in vehicles.
The spokesman said residents do not have to tolerate anti-social behaviour and should report it to their neighbourhood policing teams on 101.