Management at a pallet firm plagued by youths who dare each other to dodge in front of loaded trucks are fearful of their drivers being involved in an accident leading to injury or death.
Groups of teenagers regularly stray onto the split site run by Shaw Pallet Ltd on Bridge Street in Slaithwaite. Staff have been threatened and one driver was even hit by a piece of timber thrown at his vehicle as it was moving.
Police were called to the site on two consecutive nights this week after managers raised concerns about the increasing regularity of the incidents.
And the youths, thought to be aged 15 to 17, have been warned to keep out in the interests of safety.
“It’s a big worry for us,” said production manager Andrew Brook.
“We have signs warning people that there are moving vehicles. All our drivers wear hi-vis jackets. They are licensed and insured. The main thing is to prevent what could be a serious incident or accident.
“If a truck hits someone it’s going to do some serious damage. I am concerned for both our employees and the kids themselves being knocked down. They view it as a bit of fun. It’s not. What do we do next? Have a patrol on site? That shouldn’t be necessary.”
The news has alarmed Colne Valley Tory councillor Donna Bellamy, who has already raised concerns about intimidation, nuisance and anti-social behaviour involving a gang of up to 30 youths in Linthwaite and Marsden.
“The police are involved now. They need to go and find these youths,” she said.
“We do not know if it is the same gang that was intimidating people in Linthwaite and running over cars in Marsden. But if they have moved on to somewhere else then it is worrying.
“What they are doing is really dangerous. I do worry that someone is going to get hurt and it would not be the driver’s fault.
“My advice is for anyone concerned about this to call 999.”
The latest incident in Slaithwaite was highlighted on social media. In Linthwaite discussions about how to deal with youths’ behaviour became confrontational when debated on Facebook, but Clr Bellamy urged residents to be calm.
She added: “The police have got names of some of the youths and they’ve warned them they could faces ASBOs. The police are also doing more patrols, too.”