A GANG of youths who tried to smash their way into a community cricket club have been slammed for their “lack of respect”.
Youngsters tried to break into Easington Cricket Club during the night of Friday, June 29.
Their attempts failed, but the yobs showed their frustration by leaving the Welfare Park building strewn with graffiti and damage after they tried to kick in doors and windows.
Two youths have since been arrested and repremanded by police and 14 spoken to in front of their parents about the incident.
Club cricketer Daniel Appleby, who grew up just 250 yards from the field, said he is “disgusted” at the behaviour of the teenagers who repeatedly target the site.
The 23-year-old, from Oak Road, is an electrician for Durham County Council and has played at the club since he was 12.
He said: “The kids of today need to learn some respect for the place they live in. They have damaged a club that is important to people and I don’t think they realise how much effort goes into keeping this place going.
“People need to start showing some respect towards places that have stood proud for decades. It’s a major part of the community and we cannot afford to allow these people disrespecting our area. When we were 13 or 14 we didn’t go round smashing things up for no reason. Behind the wooden door they broke is a brick wall so they couldn’t get in if they wanted to. That is not the point though because at the end of the day they have damaged something that someone has worked on and put money in to.”
Police say they have carried out plain-clothed and uniformed patrols around Welfare Park and spoke to youths in the area about criminal damage and the punishments they could face.
School visits have also taken place where officers have spoken to pupils about anti-social behaviour and its consequences.
Sergeant Paul Footes, of Easington Neighbourhood Police Team, said: “We have worked in partnership with the parish and local community to bring to justice those responsible and educate the local youths in the area”.
It comes after crime had dropped 20 per cent and overall crime had come down by 46 per cent.