Rights groups slam British town's under-16s curfew

LONDON (AP) - Civil liberties activists have condemned an English town for imposing a night-time curfew on all youngsters in a bid to combat rowdy behavior.

Officials in Barnsley, northern England, have barred under-16s from the town centre between 9pm and 6am unless they are accompanied by an adult. Children breaching the curfew will be removed from the area.

The trial curfew takes effect this weekend and runs for six months.

Rights group Liberty said on Saturday that the ban is wrong and could face a court challenge.

Ms Emma Norton, a lawyer for the group, said that "a blanket ban on 15-year-olds walking around on summer nights is discriminatory, counter-productive and just plain wrong."

Mr Nick Pickles of the group Big Brother Watch called the measure "a waste of time and resources".