Gang crime has left a Halliwell neighbourhood “like a warzone" ­— as residents look to take matters into their own hands.

People living around Vernon Street and Prince Street have seen the gang operating over the last few years, but things have gotten worse recently.

Terence Galway, 53, lives nearby and says things are getting out of hand.

He said: “They’re doing it on such a regular basis and tensions are running high now.

“People want to do something themselves ­— last night it could have been like a warzone.

“We’re trying to keep the peace at the moment because people taking matters into their own hands is just going to make things worse, but tensions are getting very high.”

On Sunday, Mr Galway's 14-year-old stepson was robbed by the gang as he walked along the street with his schoolfriend.

His birthday money was taken by the gang, who had all pulled scarves around their faces in an attempt to hide their identities.

Mr Galway added: “On Sunday afternoon we’d gone out into Bolton and we got a phone call from my stepson, we’d only left him five minutes so it wasn’t like him.

“He’s not the sort of person who goes out on his own but he had a friend over and they went for a walk with their bags underneath their coats and they were mugged.

“They made them take their coats off and then took their bags and his friend’s phone

“He doesn’t want to go out, he’s quite a quiet lad and he was just overwhelmed by it, he knows that these people sometimes carry knives.”

The gang has been operating on the housing estate for a few years, with residents targeted in the same spots over the years.

Crimes have increased in frequency over the last few months, frustrating residents.

A spokeswoman for Greater Manchester Police said: “At about 4.55pm on February 16 police were called to reports of a robbery on Brownlow Way in Bolton.

“Five men, approximately 18-years-old, assaulted two young boys.

“They took a quantity of cash and personal items including bags and a phone.

“No injuries or weapons were reported.”

To report any information about the incident, please call 101 and quote crime reference number 2165 of January 16.

Independent charity Crimestoppers can also be contacted anonymously on 0800 555111 or online at