IT must be terrifying for the elderly residents of a Bolton street who feel like prisoners in their own homes.

Gangs of youths are congregating outside homes in Presto Gardens. They are drinking, taking drugs, damaging property and threatening residents.

It has reached the point where residents are too scared to go out when the groups are there and only leave their homes before the gangs arrive.

This is not a war zone and there are no pitched battles taking place.

But it is not surprising that residents are living in fear, having groups of men and women aged in their 20s hanging around outside, drinking and taking drugs.

At the same time, they have to endure their property being damaged and rubbish being strewn across the area.

Those who have tried to confront the gangs about their behaviour have been threatened and verbally abused.

Landlord Bolton at Home is encouraging residents to report all instances of criminality and anti-social behaviour so it can work with police to try and tackle the problems.

Vandalism and anti-social behaviour are crimes police across Bolton are trying to stamp out in order to reduce the alarm and distress caused to victims.

They are also aware that they are the types of crimes that escalate to more serious offences being committed.