A teenage girl gang who waged a campaign of terror against commuters and elderly passengers have been banned from a town centre bus station after dark.
The group, all aged between 14 and 16, would turn up after school and begin abusing people waiting to catch their bus home.
Dubbed the ‘Dirty Divas’ for their vile and filthy language, the five-strong gang would get drunk and skateboard or play football in the forecourt of Cheapside bus station, Oldham.
They also deliberately ran into newspaper kiosks and stands, knocking cigarettes, sweets and other stock to the floor.
If anyone complained they would refuse to behave and instead started swearing and hurling racist obscenities at them. Many elderly passengers were so fearful of the gang they started leaving the town before the end of the school day just to avoid the girls.
'Dirty Divas': Carmen Julien, left, Cerise Dalton, right, Jenna Crossley, below left, Alesha Khan, below right and Jamie Leigh Jones, bottom right, have all been named and shamed for their behaviour in Oldham
Magistrates in Oldham today agreed to name and shame Alesha Khan, 16, Carmen Julien, 15, Jenna Crossley, 16, and Jamie Leigh Jones, aged 14, after handing them Asbos banning them from the bus station at night. A fifth member, Cerise Dalton, 16, was given a 12-month restraining order.
The schoolgirls, who all live in different suburbs of Oldham, are also forbidden from associating with each other and are only allowed to pass through the bus station if using public transport themselves.
They could be locked up for five years if they are caught breaching the terms of the orders.
Ali Desai, 33, who works near to the station, said locals were delighted that police and council officers had come down hard on the girls for their terrible behaviour.
‘The girls were mainly a problem at night,’ he said. ‘If you’re an elderly woman walking along, trying to get a bus and there’s a game of football going on in the shelter, it’s intimidating. It’s not right.'
Another shopkeeper said: ‘These girls have been a complete nightmare.
'As soon as it got to 7 o’clock in the evening a load of these girls would flock in here regular as clockwork - a bit like animals at feeding time.
‘I try and get home before the kids leave school. It’s awful to see that the girls are just as bad as the boys these days. I just keep my head down and stay near other people if I can so I’m not targeted'
‘They’d often meet behind my kiosk to stay away from the CCTV and mess about and knock into my back wall, so all the cigarette’s dropped from the shelf onto the floor.
‘You would hear them whispering and sniggering as the kiosk shook, then cackling as they ran off.’
The shopkeeper, who was too scared to be named for fear of reprisals, added: ‘The language that came out of their mouths was dirty and disgusting.
‘They would come in here drunk and start going mad, shouting and swearing. They are definitely worse than the boys.’
Chaos: The gang of five would go to Oldham Bus Station, pictured, and abuse the elderly, commuters and shop owners
Ashad Mahmood, 30, who runs a deli takeaway opposite the bus terminal, said that although they were 'just kids' they could be very intimidating.
'They have no idea what it’s like to be old and they just don’t think,' Mr Mahmood said.
One regular passenger, a part-time mature student, aged 47, said: ‘It always started with the kids coming in after school – after that the place was a complete madhouse.
'The girls would push each other around and swear and shout at each other. Whenever people told them to pipe down they would throw tantrums and behave like little divas, hence their nickname.
‘Some old folk always tried to leave town by seven o’clock because they were so frightened of them. For them the bus station was a no go zone at night.
'The thing is there’s no shame in Asbos these days. It’s something that boosts their street cred. They will probably be bragging about it to their mates and just take their violence elsewhere.’
One pensioner, also to scared to be named, added: ‘I try and get home before the kids leave school. It’s awful to see that the girls are just as bad as the boys these days.
'I just keep my head down and stay near other people if I can so I’m not targeted.'
Lorraine Kenny, the anti-social behaviour team leader at Oldham community safety services, said the council decided to take action against the gang in the interests of the wider community.
'We give the individuals the chance to change their behaviour through support, interviews and warnings,' she said. ‘But, if they continue with criminal activity or cause anti-social behaviour, then we have to take action.'
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