Beds Police has come under fire after a group of boys ran riot in Leighton Buzzard town centre last week during the extreme weather.
The LBO has seen multiple reports of anti-social behaviour in the town centre – all apparently stemming from the same group of boys.
Alleged incidents range from throwing snowballs at the elderly, attacking passers-by with sticks, spitting, and shouting abuse.
On Saturday, a frustrated resident sent a direct message to Beds Police: “A gang roamed Leighton Buzzard yesterday assaulting women and elderly and threatening people with sticks.
“People who phoned police were told it’s not an emergency and put through to an answerphone. Are you trying to retain the title of worst police force in UK?”
Supt Nick Lyall responded on Twitter that ‘specials’ would patrol the town centre the next day.
But it may be a case of too little, too late for those residents who had already complained earlier in the week.
One elderly woman told the LBO: “I was in Waterborne Walk and they were on their bikes, one of them came at me doing a wheelie.
“If I hadn’t had my trolley, I would have been knocked down. I told him off and so he rode around and spat at me.
“I said to the others, ‘I’ll call the police’, and the little one said, ‘We don’t worry about the police, we can run rings around them’.
“They are getting bolder and bolder. I know two people who want to move away. It’s killing the town.”
On Facebook, another woman posted that she had been assaulted by the group on Friday. She stated: “I was walking past Energy Fitness and a young boy threw a snowball in my face...
“I ignored this and kept walking but another boy ran past and took my hat from my head, pulling my hair in doing so.
“I turned and asked them to have some respect, only to be shouted at. They were asking me, ‘Who the f*** I was’ and mocking.”
The woman claims she was then pushed to the ground by another boy and the group continued to follow her into the town centre, shouting abuse and throwing snowballs.
She added: “At the crossing by the Middle School, I asked them again to stop and the same boy told me, ‘Come closer, yeah? Try again and I’ll kill you’.
“I tried phoning the police and was told they can’t do anything.”
Another woman claimed she saw the group assault a youngster with a large stick that same day and that they also shouted abuse at her. She told the LBO she was “very disappointed” to be told it was not an emergency when she contacted police.
In a statement to the LBO, Supt Nick Lyall said: “We are aware of a number of reports of anti-social behaviour in Leighton Buzzard recently and enhanced visible police patrols have been put in place as a result.
“We would like to reassure the public that we will not tolerate those who intimidate others in the community with this type of behaviour and would urge anyone with concerns to contact their local community team.”
To speak to community officers, contact police on 101.