A TEENAGE girl was arrested on Friday night for kicking a police officer in the groin in Chorley.

Two other youths in their mid-teens were also detained for railway offences and public disorder offences while another was arrested for being in possession of cannabis.

The incident happened at 5pm when officers were called to reports of a large group of 30 youths gathering on Chapel Street.

PC Mike Payne said: “Police approached one of the youths and he was in possession of a cannabis cigarette and he was spoken to by officers.

“But he refused to give his details and we had no other option than arrest him for obstruction of justice and being in possession of the cannabis.

“Three other youths were arrested too and they have been referred to the Youth Offending Teams (YOT).

“Due to the disturbance the local inspector on duty put a Section 35 dispersal order allowing police officers to direct people away from a specific area if they are likely to cause distress or anti-social behaviour to residents and that was for 48 hours until Sunday night.

“Four more people were given Section 39 offences to cause further harassment to people - one was on a bike, one was in possession of cannabis and the others were for approaching the area.”

PC Payne added that an investigation is ongoing into the incident to find appropriate outcomes.

He said: “It has been one of the hotspot areas because of the Inspire Youth Zone and bus station telling us about the situation with youths gathering.

“These people are not associated with the Youth Zone however the area does seem to attract them.

“I want to thank the bus station and Youth Zone for their patience and assistance in this matter.

“The officer who was kicked is fine and we are trying to help and assist members of the public and we cannot understand why people think it is alright to hurt police officers.

“It is not right to assault anyone.”

PC Payne insists they will continue to work in the area.

“There is going to be a lot more police presence in the area and looking to put things in place with the partnership with the council to prevent this sort of thing happening again.”

Sir Lindsay Hoyle MP, has since praised the police for their work in trying to deal with the situation.

He said: “Obviously this is nothing to do with the Youth Zone and I am pleased that the police have distanced them from it.

“It is great that they are taking action to stop people being intimidated in the town centre and hopefully these people are not trying to push drugs on young people in the town.

“It is great that the council and police are working to stop it happening again.

“This further shows the importance of having police on the streets to make it safe. Our officers deserve more respect and protection.”