A NINE-year-old boy and 13-year-old girl broke into a parked bus and pelted the inside with eggs.

This picture, released by police, shows the bus which appeared to have broken down by the roadside - but was actually part of a decoy operation targeting young louts who have attacked public transport in Breightmet.

Hidden cameras filmed gangs of youths loitering close to the bus before they climbed aboard through a fire door.

Once inside, at least two youngsters hurled eggs, causing damage to the interior.

A 13-year-old girl was arrested and given a caution for criminal damage and interfering with a vehicle and a boy, aged just nine years old, was interviewed in the presence of his parents.

The parents of both children were warned that they were in breach of their tenancy agreements, and could lose their homes if they were in trouble again.

Insp Tony Kenyon said: "We had suffered a lot of problems of public transport being vandalised in the Breightmet and Tonge Moor area. That included stone throwing at vehicles which could have ended in tragedy.

"This operation sends a message to youngsters that this behaviour will not be tolerated and anybody who gets involved will be arrested."

The operation took place on Winchester Way, Breightmet, on December 21 last year.

The bus was left at the side of the road to give the impression it had been abandoned after breaking down.

Police watched from vantage points and hidden cameras filmed youths gathering by the bus within minutes of it being left unattended.

Two groups of youths were seen to get on to the bus via a rear emergency door in the space of an hour.

When police challenged the second group of youngsters, they noticed the inside of the bus had been vandalised.

The two youngsters responsible were questioned and admitted the offences to police officers.