A group of bowling club volunteers who set up a sting to catch young vandals on CCTV have been told off by police – for filming the youngsters without permission.
Harehills Park Bowling Club in Leeds has been the victim of an ‘unprecedented amount’ of vandalism and break-ins over the last eight months.
In the last few weeks alone, the club had its shelters destroyed and someone tried to break into a shed in broad daylight, resulting in around £3,000 of damage.
The bowls club, established in 1907, decided to get CCTV to catch the vandals and just hours later, volunteers discovered one of the memorial benches had been destroyed.
The CCTV footage had stopped recording but captured clear images of the youngsters before they put on balaclavas and vandalised the CCTV.
But West Yorkshire Police criticised the bowls club for taking a video of the youths who tried to break in.
The next day, the same group of youths approached members on the green and asked if they could play.
Recognising the youths, volunteers rang the police who advised them to lock the vandals on the bowling green until they arrived.
In a statement posted on social media, a Harehills Park Bowling Club member said: ‘The police actually complained to me for taking a video because they are kids.