POLICE have launched an investigation into a group calling themselves the Mill Hill Boys – after a derelict pub was vandalised.

This picture – sent to the Lancashire Telegraph by worried residents – shows the extent of the graffiti on the former Griffin pub.

The pub has been earmarked for demolition by Blackburn with Darwen Council as part of a wider redevelopment scheme.

Vandals have sprayed 'MHB' on the building, understood to stand for Mill Hill Boys.

The area, which is due to be transformed with 150 new homes, has become a hotspot for vandalism.

Lancaster And Morecambe Citizen:

Last week the nearby John Bull fish and chip shop was targeted by arsonists.

Damian Talbot, councillor for the Mill Hill and Moorgate ward, said: "I am aware of it and reported the graffiti on the pub.

“We have had numerous offences in the centre of Mill Hill and the council did some work clearing the graffiti but there is still some more.

“The police have some CCTV of the culprits and they are working on it.

“It is absolutely shocking and a lot of good work is being done in the community on a day-to-day basis to clean up the area.”

Calls from conservationists to save the pub earlier this year fell on deaf ears.

PC Mark Perry, community beat manager for South West Blackburn, said: “We are aware of graffiti popping up at various locations. We are actively investigating the incidents.”

Lancaster And Morecambe Citizen: The Griffin housing sites

Plans for new housing in the area

One resident, who asked not to be named, said: “It is disgraceful as it it ruining the local area and makes it look bad.

“If no one catches them they are just going to do it again and again. They have also vandalised a railway bridge in Mill Hill.

“If they live in Mill Hill as their MHB tag suggests, they also have no pride in their local area and are going out of their way to make it look ugly."

The council's regeneration boss Cllr Phil Riley said: “We’ve recently purchased the buildings and there are plans to demolish them as soon as possible for the Griffin housing development.

“This site has been a source of great frustration to us and we will be absolutely delighted when we get a developer to build new housing there.”