POLICE introduced a curfew in the villages of Lowerhouses and Ashenhurst last night in a bid to curb the behaviour of teenagers who have been making life a misery for local people.
The appointed hour duly arrived and what did the teenagers do? Went on the rampage. At least a small gang of them did.
At precisely 9pm, the exact time that the curfew came into force, many of the youngsters were ordered home by parents.
But for a hard core of about a dozen, this was the time to make a point. And make it they did not just by staying on the streets and risking arrest but, it is alleged, by setting fire to the abandoned riding stables in Fannymoor Lane.
It doesn't take much imagination to understand why the youngsters targeted the blighted centre again. This was surely their way of telling police and the rest of us what they think of the curfew idea and any attempts to curb their freedom to behave as they will.
And therein lies one of the major problems with a scenario which sadly is being repeated in other villages across the area.
Teenagers with time on their hands are roaming the streets and a troublesome minority are causing problems through vandalism, abuse and intimidation of other residents.
A curfew, properly enforced, may have been a starting point, but could we be in danger of discovering that last night's reaction was a sign of too little, too late.
How long have residents in local villages been reminding police and government that bobbies out in the community work wonders. They can get a handle on a problem before it takes hold and certainly before it gets out of hand.
Once things have escalated to the point of the outright defiance seen in Lowerhouses last night, the situation is all that much harder to recover.