Vandals go on rampage

YOUTHS armed with catapults damaged 12 top range of the range cars in a Barnsley village in the early hours of Saturday morning.

A group of about five hoodie-wearing youths walked along Broad Gates and Martin Croft in Silkstone, near Barnsley, attacking cars, included 4x4s and a Mercedes.

They also burned out another car, smashed up a home's conservatory on Town Gate, broke more than 23 panes on two greenhouses and shattered every pane in a bus shelter. The incidents all took place between 3am and 4am.

One resident said: "It was just an hour of mayhem and goodness knows how much damage was done - it was just madness.

"Silkstone is a supposed sleepy rural village which people flock to for its nice, quiet atmosphere and great school. It's very much a sleepy hamlet and for us to have anything but a blip in crime is unheard of. This has shattered everyone."

The incidents followed trouble the previous weekend when a BMW belonging to a visitor from Scotland was burned out. On the same day a fire was lit on a wooden footbridge over Silkstone Beck which burned a hole in the walkway forcing its closure. Repairs are estimated at 2,500, according to Silkstone parish council chair, Derek Liddell.

He said: "It's been a growing problem over recent months and I'm frightened about where it's going next - what will they do next to get their kicks?

"We think those responsible were local and these incidents took place in the early hours, someone must know who is out at that time.

"We need people to come forward, if people do not want to go to the police they can contact me via the parish council clerk."

A police spokeswoman said their investigations had been hampered because although people in the streets affected heard the damage being caused, no one had been able to provide descriptions of the perpetrators because it was so dark.

The case is being investigated by PC Silcock at the Penistone station and anyone with information should contact him on 0114 220 2020 ext 6482. Silkstone parish council clerk Karen Canadine 01226 391343.