YOBS have reportedly started to target councillors in an area blighted by antisocial behaviour.

Darfield Couns Trevor Smith and Pauline Markham have long been vocal about their plans to end antisocial behaviour - and say the recent instances won’t stop them.

The councillors revealed they had seen a spike in instances throughout the pandemic, and are working to end off-road biking in particular.

However, following a presumed deliberate fire outside a home on Upperwood Road last week, the pair now say the area has become a ‘hotspot’ for antisocial behaviour and want to appeal for more to be done to help end the issue.

“The situation in Darfield is dire,” said Coun Smith.

“My concern is for the residents because they have had enough of what has been happening.

“We have notified the police and the council to what is going on, and we are trying our best to effectively deal with the issues.

“It’s very concerning and we need help to be able to put an end to it once and for all.”

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Despite their work, the councillors have even been targeted.

Former Mayor of Barnsley Coun Markham revealed she has been targeted on multiple occasions - her car tyres have been slashed and she revealed she was followed through the village by an unidentified biker.

The councillor, who was elected in 2010, said she won’t let the instances deter her from working to eradicate off-road biking throughout the village but hopes more can be done to keep residents safe.

“My car tyres have been slashed two or three times now, and my son’s have as well,” she said.

“I have had to get CCTV around my home because I want to be able to catch who is doing this.

“I feel the off-road bikers are trying to scare me from making a difference in Darfield but I won’t be put off - I was followed in my car by a person on a bike, and I drove around the village for a while before I realised what was happening.

“They sped up when I sped up, and slowed down when I did.

“At first I thought they were just going the same way as me, but after a while it became obvious that they were trying to intimidate me.

“I know I am being watched, but I think about all the residents who have had enough with the off-road bikers speeding past their homes or ripping up fields so I will keep fighting to put an end to it.”

Coun Markham also added that she feels that Darfield has become a hotspot for antisocial behaviour, but has exhausted every resource to attempt to rectify the issue.

“I feel that a larger police presence would help them to catch who is doing this - but I understand that the police are very stretched right now and understaffed,” she added.

“We have gone to the council, and asked the police, but there’s nothing they can do.

“Unless we get some help, this problem will only get worse.”