POLICE are vowing to crack down on a gang of up to 50 yobs who are terrorising the Overpool community.
Last week, we revealed how the teenage trouble-makers have fire-bombed a house, threatened to kill a woman and turned Festival Park into a den for under-age drinking.
Problems have now reached breaking point, with firefighters demanding a police escort in the area.
As a result, Community Action Team (CAT) officers have stepped up their patrols and issued a warning to youths and their parents.
PC Liam Smithies said: 'These problems are occurring at the weekends. We suspect they are linked to reports of a large group of youths drinking alcohol in the park.
'This type of behaviour is not acceptable, nor will it be tolerated. We will use powers of seizure, arrest and on-the-spot fines to make sure this message gets through to the handful who are the troublemakers.
'The families of these individuals will also be informed, as will the various police and council teams which look at obtaining anti-social behaviour orders and acceptable behaviour contracts.'
In recent weeks, teenage yobs have been getting drunk in Festival Park, ripping down fence panels and setting them on fire and raiding garden sheds.
Police will also be targeting other hotspot areas, such as Overpool shops, at key times.
PC Smithies said: 'If this was a case of young people simply hanging around, there would be no need for concern. However, criminal offences are being committed. The effect this is having on residents in the area is very serious.
'They should not have to live in fear for the safety of themselves and their property.'
Officers will work closely with the Youth Offending Team and the Probation Service to ensure 'robust' action is taken against trouble-makers. They are also keen to get the support of parents and residents who may have information about who is committing offences.
PC Smithies said: 'If you're a parent, make sure you know where your child is and what they are up to. The consequences of criminal behaviour are severe.
'If you have information about who is responsible for these problems, let us know.'
* To report an incident, call 0845 458 0000 or leave a message on 0845 458 6373.