TEENAGE yobs showed what they thought of new police curfew powers by torching a riding stables last night.
The 9pm curfew, which began yesterday in Lowerhouses and Ashenhurst, saw most teenagers ordered home by their parents - but a hard core stayed on the streets.
And at exactly 9pm a fire was started in the abandoned Longley Riding School on Fannymoor Lane.
Although most of the curfew area was quiet, a gang of about 12 youths gathered near the riding school and were seen running up Fannymoor Lane as fire crews arrived.
The riding school has been repeatedly targeted, causing the owner to move out.
Station Officer Paul Mace, of Huddersfield fire station, said: "Two fires were started at the stables.
"One destroyed a portable building which had been used as an office. Another was confined to straw in one of the stables.
"After we put the fires out, we doused the rest of the stables and other portable buildings with water, to make sure no more fires could be started there in the coming days.
"It will take them quite a while to dry out," he added.
Huddersfield police said that apart from the fire there were no reports of any other problems in the area last night.
The curfew means police can move on nuisance teenagers after 9pm if they are likely to cause problems such as vandalism, abuse and intimidation .
If they refuse to leave, they face arrest.
Ashenhurst and Lowerhouses have become meeting places for gangs who have smashed windows, daubed walls with graffiti and made life a misery for people living nearby.
Huddersfield's police commander, Chief Supt Barry South, took the tough measure of bringing in the new curfew order to halt the problems. But a visible police presence was light yesterday.
A police van drove through the area shortly before 9pm.
The 2003 Anti-Social Behaviour Act has given the police extra powers to stop bad behaviour on the streets.
A 15-year-old girl, who asked not to be named, said the curfew would not stop the gangs roaming the streets at night.
She said: "For a lot of us it means we have no social life now. My parents have told me I have to be in by 9pm.
"I think the idea is stupid - and it won't work. The gangs will go somewhere else, like Almondbury."
A man, who asked not to be named for fear of being targeted, lives near to where the groups of teens have been meeting and said the curfew was the last straw.
He added: "I remember the first time I saw a kid rolling a joint on the streets here. That was about 18 years ago. All this has come too late.
"The problem is that there is no respect from kids. They don't care about anything. That has been proved by what they have done here."
Sub-Officer Lee Benson, of Huddersfield fire station, said: "We have every reason to believe the arson was carried out by youths who were gathered in the area when we arrived."