Youngsters are being warned they could be hauled before the courts after the rise of an "extremely dangerous" craze involving setting aerosols alight in Uttoxeter town centre.
Police have recorded several offences where young people have exploded the gas-filled canisters in recent weeks.
Between July 21 and the start of August, Uttoxeter officers were called out to deal with four separate instances of the cans being ignited.
And Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) Isobel Alkins has issued a stark warning to those thinking of continuing the worrying trend, which she says has "caused damage" in the town centre.
She said: "We want to educate the young people involved about the effects this dangerous activity can have.They could quite easily blow their hands or their faces off and seriously injure themselves or others.
"There’s also a serious risk they could cause a fire, which could spread and have awful consequences. They should be advised that this is not only extremely dangerous, it can lead to being prosecuted for arson and criminal damage.
"In response to the incidents we have issued a number of acceptable behaviour contracts to the children. We have also spoken to their parents at home and we have been in touch with the fire service to see if they can offer any input."
The occasions when police have had to be called out since July 21 involved offences outside The Original Factory Shop, in Trinity Square, Uttoxeter Leisure Centre, in Oldfields Road, in the alley between Dove Bank and Lidl, in Town Meadows Way and Co-op Travel, in High Street.
PCSO Alkins said: "A number of young people have been setting aerosol cans alight in Uttoxeter. We have had four incidents so far where aerosols are being lit, causing them to explode and, on a couple of occasions, cause damage.
"Obviously when we saw this was going on, we were absolutely shocked at the fact people thought it was appropriate to explode canisters in public areas. We’ve had several reports of this happening and it really is of great concern to us."
The Uttoxeter-based PCSO has also called on parents to play a role in ensuring the dangerous offences are brought to a halt.
She said: "Parents can’t control everything their children do, but they certainly have a role to play. They need to be mindful about what their children are taking out of the house with them. If they see their kids leaving the house with a lighter or gas canister, they should certainly be asking 'why?'."
Police have also reported handing out several Anti-social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) to people revving their cars and mopeds at Uttoxeter’s supermarket car parks and Bramshall Road Park.
A Staffordshire Police spokesman said: "If you witness anything, please call 101, and ideally have a registration of the vehicle to hand."