YOBS in a Dorset town have been causing 'extreme anxiety and distress' to the elderly and vulnerable as part of a worrying TikTok trend.

Youths have been violently kicking elderly people's front doors at Poundbury in Dorchester, with undercover police deployed as the behaviour has spiralled. 

On Friday November between 5.30pm and 10pm Dorchester Police's Neighbourhood Policing Team conducted plain clothes patrols in the area of The Great Field and surrounding areas of Poundbury.

According to the force this was due to multiple reports of antisocial door knocking and violent door kicking over several weeks in the location - in some cases resulting in criminal damage.

"This behaviour by groups of youths has been causing extreme anxiety and distress to many residents including elderly victims," a spokesman said.

"Our team would appreciate parents reinforcing a message to young people not to copy behaviour seen on social media such as the TikTok Heartbeat challenge. Patrols will continue."

The Heartbeat challenge involves TikTok users playing loud music outside people's homes and banging their feet on their doors before running off.

There have been reports across the UK of front doors being kicked in and destroyed after the prank escalates into criminal damage.

In Shaftesbury, meanwhile, police say there has been a rise in anti-social behaviour incidents being reported to them.

Dorset Echo: There has been a rise in anti-social behaviour in locations around a north Dorset town Picture: North Dorset PoliceThere has been a rise in anti-social behaviour in locations around a north Dorset town Picture: North Dorset Police

Reports have included youths on roofs, knocking on doors and fighting.

"The team is working with local businesses to deter further shenanigans before someone gets hurt," a spokesman for North Dorset Police said. "We have also approached local schools to get the message across that this behaviour is unacceptable, and we will deal (with it) robustly."

The force said some youths have been identified and are going through the youth justice system. "Others will be spoken to in due course, and can expect a visit," the spokesman added. "We are working closely with social services to support vulnerable youths and families."

In Weymouth a dispersal order has been issued in the Littlemoor area which gives police more power to tackle ASB. It comes amid a recent rise in incidents, including damage caused to a property. The force did not say whether the incident was linked to the social media trend - however patrols are being stepped up in the area.