When police are called to deal with anti-social nuisance affecting innocent residents, it is usually a gang of hooded youths causing the trouble.
But neighbours on one Lancashire street are being terrorised by ‘yobs’ of a different kind – a bunch of boisterous chickens.
Wildlife specialists from Lancashire Police were called to Aveling Drive in Banks, near Tarleton, after residents said the problem was getting out of control.
Mark Thomas, the force’s wildlife officer, said it began around three years ago when someone dumped three young chicks on a patch of land close to homes in the built-up area.
Since then, the flock has multiplied and some 40 chickens are running amok in the street.
Residents claim they foul the road, get into houses and wake people up by crowing at 4am.
Officers were sent in to deal with the problem, by catching the chickens in special cages and rehousing them.
Mr Thomas said: “Someone dumped two or three chicks around three years ago and it has turned into a massive flock.
“The residents have been complaining to the local Community Beat Manager and he got in touch with me saying he had never seen so many.”
Mr Thomas said one of the problems was that some residents in the street had been feeding the birds, meaning they have not moved on over the years.
He said: “With certain residents feeding them, they are not inclined to move anywhere.
“They are leaving excrement everywhere, they have been scraping for food in people’s front gardens and there has been noise issues.
“They just wander the streets.
“It is unusual because they are in such large numbers. If there was just one or two it would not be a problem.”
A number of officers were involved in catching the birds.
Mr Thomas added: “It is to give the residents a bit of peace and quiet and there are health issues as well with children playing in the street.”