POLICE have stepped up patrols in Padiham and Burnley following reports of teenagers trying to arrange fights.

Officers said they had intercepted a number of posts on social media referring to fights, which would have involved teenagers from across the town.

There has been an increased police presence in the Whitegate area of Padiham.

Sgt Tom Reilly said: "We have been made aware via social media of potential pre-arranged fights involving teenagers from across Burnley. We have a visible presence in the town and we will take any necessary action to stop incidents taking place."

This morning Burnley and Padiham Police had posted on its Facebook page that teenagers at Shuttleworth College in Padiham were planning to organise fights involving weapons.

In a letter to parents, Shuttleworth headteacher Ruth England said: "Burnley Police posted an alarming Facebook message this morning about our school which has now been removed. The police mentioned fights and weapons in relation to Shuttleworth College. This post should have referred to ongoing community issues involving gangs around Burnley and Padiham. These issues do not originate in any way in our school. They are investigating fears there may be issues later tonight in the community.

"This post has caused a flurry of social media posts and comments which I would urge you to ignore. I would also ask that you do not add any posts yourselves. These activities can generate unnecessary anxieties in the community.

"It is business as usual at Shuttleworth College today. We will have additional staff outside school tonight and police to ensure a smooth end to the day. Please ensure your child goes straight home after school and is not hanging around in the area later on."