From Keighley News, 28th October 2017
POLICE have taken action against yobs running amok in Oakworth less than two days after the story broke in the Keighley News. We exclusively reported on Thursday how youths hurling stones at car windows prompted calls for nightly ‘vigilante patrols’ in the village amid fears someone could be seriously injured or killed. Oakworth residents this week threatened to confront the gang of marauding teenagers with baseball bats, pool cues and other ‘weapons’ because they are using Holden Park as cover to bombard vehicles passing on the main road.
Villagers said they are at their wits’ end following months of damage to vehicles using the mini-roundabout that connects Station Road, Lidget and Chapel Lane.
In the latest wave of seven attacks reported on Sunday and Monday, a family was ambushed on the roundabout and a MetroGo taxi had its windows smashed.
Now, it appears the police have taken direct action following the flurry of complaints.
Speaking on Twitter on Friday night, PC Caroline Foster said: "Uniformed officers, plain clothes officers, PCSOs and youth workers in #OAKWORTH PARK tonight. Youths identified and action being taken."
There are no further details of exactly how the operation unfolded tonight, but it would appear the problem had reached such a level that officers felt compelled to act.
Local politicians had this week condemned both the stone-throwing youths and the would-be vigilantes, calling for residents to report all incidents to police and, if possible, name the culprits.
Keighley town councillor, Luke Maunsell, who represents Oakworth ward, said he feared rocks being thrown at cars could seriously injure or kill someone.
He added: “It is completely unacceptable for residents to be fearful about being in the village simply because some people have no respect for the community.
“Oakworth is a wonderful place with amazing community spirit and resolve and this should not be undermined by thoughtless individuals, who should know better.”
Cllr Maunsell said he would not support vigilante action, but he did issue a plea for greater police presence in the area.
He added: “This a police matter and we have to support them to do their job, not make their job harder.
“I will say, though, that people need reassurance from the police that these matters are being dealt with, and an increased presence would be one way to achieve this.”
Cllr Russell Brown, who represents Worth Valley ward on Bradford Council, said: “The behaviour of the youths has to be absolutely condemned. If a driver is hit by a stone, anything could happen.
“But I can’t condone any kind of vigilante group. We don’t want local citizens potentially getting badly hurt themselves. We need to work with the police.”