UNDERCOVER cameras are to be used to target teenage gangs in Bradley.
Funding for the project was agreed last night after councillors were told of problems caused by the teenage tearaways.
Each operation costs £250 and council officers expect to run several operations acting on information from the public. Many people in Bradley have claimed they are living in fear of the gangs, who have been causing problems for more than a year.
Now a special team of council officers will be tasked to trap the youths on camera and collect evidence for possible prosecutions.
The move, approved by councillors on the Huddersfield North Area Committee, follows a catalogue of problems.
Two arson attacks on the Bradley Community Centre which have forced a playscheme to move
Intimidating behaviour from gangs
Drug dealing in parts of the Bradley estate
Windows smashed at The Woodman pub in Leeds Road
Vandalism and robberies at local shops and takeaways
The camera equipment is being provided by the Partnership Surveillance Service which has already carried out similar operations in Sheepridge and Birkby.
One undercover filming session led to two men being prosecuted by Huddersfield magistrates.
Now councillors hope the money they spend on the project will be worthwhile.
Clr Ken Smith, who has had a number of complaints made to him by Bradley residents, said: “We need this type of covert operation to send a strong message to those responsible for the anti-social behaviour.
“People get afraid when they see large groups of youths and youngsters gathering on street corners, especially at dusk and in the evenings. It is a particular worry to the elderly and they should have the right to go out and about without being afraid.
“With the mobile surveillance cameras available, we can gather the intelligence and the information that is needed to take action,” said Clr Smith.