Staff at a Croydon library are looking forward to relocating after being targeted by a gang of teenage yobs.

In recent weeks up to 30 young hooligans have been terrorising people using the library and those who work there.

According to staff, roof tiles have been knocked off, 16 windows have been smashed and eggs have been thrown at people reading inside the children's section.

Ashburton library is due to move from Ashburton Park, Addiscombe Road, on April 1 and will reopen as part of the new Ashburton learning village in nearby Shirley Road on April 24.

But one library worker, who did not wish to be named, said only "time will tell" if the new library will be targeted by the gang.

The frightened worker told the Croydon Guardian: "It's been on and off for the past few years but not in the severity we've had in the last 12 months."

The library now closes earlier, to coincide with the time Ashburton Park shuts.

Staff are looking forward to their relocation so that they can escape the gang. One said: "I can't wait to get out of here. It's the most frustrating thing I've ever come across in my life.

"They're absolutely horrendous, I've never seen anything like it. It's worrying when they're quiet because at the weekend you know they'll be up to something."

The gang is also thought to be responsible for graffiti strewn on nearby walls and phone boxes being smashed.

Councillor Steve O' Connell, shadow cabinet member for crime reduction and public protection, said: "At the end of the day they're going to have these new facilities but the yobs won't go away.

"The yobs will be attracted to the new facilities. We should really take the fight out to the yobs.

"Low level antisocial behaviour creates a climate of fear that only worse crimes can blossom."

However, Councillor Paul Smith, cabinet member for crime reduction and public protection, said: "It's almost impossible to compare the current Ashburton library in the centre of the park, which has no appropriate access, to a multi-million pound facility being built with an appropriate level of security.

"Whenever it occurs, antisocial behaviour is very distressing and very serious.

"We need to target and reduce the behaviour throughout the area so that the lives of the vast majority of people, both young and old, are made more peaceful."

Police are due to launch a new safer neighbourhood team in the area and the council said antisocial behaviour orders could be issued.

Coun Smith added: "We've never hesitated to issue orders where necessary and will continue to do so."

Adie Batt, assistant director of Croydon libraries, said: "Given that the library is in a fairly isolated area, it was appropriate to close the library earlier.

"Ashburton Park site is great in summer. The new library will be even more accessible.

"This is a positive development."