A FAMILY is blaming an endless campaign of drunken behaviour and intimidation by thugs for their decision to quit their home.

The mother, afraid of being identified for fear of reprisals, is uprooting her family from Coppull and moving to Leyland.

She says gangs roaming the village have forced the family to sell their home in Springfield Road. "We've had so many problems round here. That is why we're leaving," she said. "We have had enough."

Neighbours cite a catalogue of problems including children as young as nine drinking and smoking cannabis on the street and throwing bricks at windows. They complain of verbal abuse and intimidation by the youths if they challenge them. In the past week a portable toilet used by road builders has been vandalised.

Glennis Walmsley, librarian at Springfield Road library, said: "It gets worse in winter. They come in and run around knocking books off the shelves."

Residents expressed their fears at a parish council meeting on Wednesday, October 9.

Gill Wharton, a mother-of-two from Station Road, said: "They're standing there at 11.30pm swearing. I've two kids screaming and crying because they are waking them up, but we wait 14 minutes on the phone to get through to the police."

Coppull councillor Stella Walsh said: "I don't think the police realise how fearful people are."

PC Colin Bosanquet told the meeting: "There's a new generation of juveniles causing trouble coming through every year. This year is particularly bad."

And he admitted that sometimes non-emergency calls are not dealt with immediately, but urged people to call and report any incidents of nuisance.