POLICE fear yobs are using internet chatrooms to arrange alcohol-fuelled meet-ups and fights in Helsby and Frodsham.
After speaking to more than 30 concerned villagers at a meeting of Helsby Parish Council, Insp Phil Hodgson said: 'Mobile phones are being used to arrange meetings between youths from Runcorn, Helsby and Frodsham. But we have also had information suggesting they may be making arrangements on the Microsoft News Network.
'It seems a number of young people are coming to the villages with the sole purpose of getting involved in fights with local teenagers.'
Residents claim louts as young as 11 are using the Lower Robin Hood Lane play area in Helsby as a base, leaving behind broken glass.
Now they are calling for the park's three entrances to be locked at night.
Hooligans have torn down tiles being laid at the community centre opposite by climbing scaffolding. And a recent evening pilates class was abandoned because of harassment by children.
A third beat officer, PC Terry Cawley, has been diverted from Dunham Hill to boost the police operation.
Insp Hodgson told the council he had been 'disappointed at the tone' of a letter from the authority complaining not enough was being done to combat youth nuisance.
He said action was being taken in liaison with British Transport Police and special constables.
Council chairman Mike Bellairs told him: 'We were not saying officers were not doing their job but that we felt you needed extra support.'
Insp Hodgson said an extra community action team officer had been asked to help cover Frodsham and Helsby.
That leaves the Dunham Hill and Barrow areas without a beat bobby, and Dunham Hill Parish Council agreed to write and complain at its February meeting.
Insp Hodgson added while he would prefer an extra officer to cover the area, he supported the idea of Helsby paying for its own Police Community Support Officer as the more realistic option.
That would mean a band D property paying an extra £5 in Council Tax, a proposal backed by most residents at the meeting.
'We have got a youth problem and it's in everyone's interests to sort it out,' said Insp Hodgson.
'There were 22 crimes in the first 13 days of this month and that's an extremely high figure for an area like this.
'We can take alcohol and names and even write to parents, but we are lacking evidence needed to prosecute and get anti-social behaviour contracts and orders.
He added: 'I find it astonishing that villages the size of Helsby and Frodsham do not have CCTV.'