POLICE have made a dispersal order in Horwich after shocking footage has emerged of youths meeting up for fights including one video showing a boy "being kicked in the head like a football".

The order has been issued by the officers after young people in rival groups in Horwich and Chorley have been fighting.

Greater Manchester say footage that has been seen online is "very concerning and needs to be prevented before anyone is seriously injured".

The order will come into effect from 8pm tomorrow, Friday, and last until 8pm on Sunday, covering the whole of Horwich.

David Johnston who is the Geographical Inspector for Bolton West said: “I have been extremely concerned about an emerging problem of anti-social behaviour in the area which is fuelled mainly by teenage males who are gathering in numbers and then fighting.

"It appears that there may be tensions between groups from Horwich and Chorley and we are therefore working closely with Lancashire Police to prevent this problem escalating further.

"It has been sickening to see social media posts of young males being attacked and one video showing a boy being kicked in the head whilst defenceless on the ground.

"This is unacceptable and clearly needs dealing with now before we see someone sustaining serious injury.

"Therefore, I have authorised the dispersal order for this weekend and we will have additional officers in the area to deter such behaviour and educate people.

"The last resort will be the use of the dispersal power, but if it is needed we will use it robustly.

"I would please ask parents to make sure that they know where their children are and ensure that they are not part of these groups who are in the minority and ruining our community!”

Horwich North East councillor Richard Silvester added: "I fully support the police with the action that they are taking.

"Unfortunately there is a minority element of young people here who are causing problems for the wider community.

"Individuals are being hurt completely unnecessarily and this needs to end."

The order has been granted under Section 34 of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, and allows for Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) and police officers to direct a person to leave the area specified within the order if they have reasonable grounds to suspect that their behaviour has caused, or is likely to cause, harassment, alarm or distress to members of the public.