A RECKLESS young motorist was caught on camera as he drove across a children's play area in a village.

A group of youths gained access to the Gravel Pit Lane play area in Brantham by using the private road leading to the site.

They were spotted taking the padlocked gate off its hinges and drove across the playing field with a car.

Alastair McCraw, chairman of Brantham Parish Council, said the damaged gate has now been reinforced but added incidents like this have taken place over the years.

He said: “We put retaining bolts in, so you cannot just lift it off. That was done almost immediately.

“The hinge slots on and off and it has been like this for years.

“It is what made it easier for us to have access if we needed to do any maintenance.

“The land is owned by a local farmer and he lets us use that as play area and we have our equipment there.”

Mr McCraw has encouraged villagers to report antisocial behaviour,  but to refrain from taking matters into their own hands.

He said: “Where people do see antisocial behaviour, report it to clerk, to the chairman or any member of council but don’t intervene. Don’t put yourself at risk - it is a police matter.

“It is a parish council’s concern but even we have to be very careful. We have no powers except persuasion.“

Sarah Keys, who is the council’s clerk, condemned the youngsters' reckless behaviour.

She said: "These incidents of vandalism by a small minority of our community are completely unacceptable.

“The behaviour of these young people is disruptive, upsetting and intimidating for regular users of the recreation areas, most of whom are children and families.

“Brantham is lucky to have three well-provided play areas one of which includes a teen shelter.

“The parish council works hard to maintain and improve these areas but these incidents are becoming a more regular occurrence that is directly impacting the time and resources we have available to do this.

“We are grateful to those members of the public who have drawn our attention to this."