CRIMINAL damage has soared in Flintshire during the school holidays.
Police have seen a huge increase in the number of incidents of low level criminal damage during half term.
About 25 per cent of crimes last week related to criminal damage, compared to less than 10 per cent on an average week.
Crimes included graffiti, damage to cars and smashing windows.
North Flintshire Inspector Jeff Moses says it is a common problem during school holidays and offenders can be as young as eight or nine years old.
He said: “We do see problems with children during the school holidays.
“Last week was the busiest week for criminal damage we have seen for the past several weeks.
“We would ask parents to know where their children are and what they are up to, particularly during the school holidays.
“During the last bank holiday there was a huge problem in the Deeside area.
Groups of children, aged eight or nine, were causing damage to cars with spray paint during the early hours of the evening. Several cars were damaged.”
On Sunday at about 7pm, police were called to Bagillt Youth Club following reports of a break-in. A group of eight and nine-year-olds were found inside after forcing the padlock.
Insp Moses added: “There was no criminal intent and they were taken home to their parents.”
Police are also urging motorists to be on their guard after a spate of car and house windows being smashed in Deeside.
During the weekend four vehicles were targeted in the Connah’s Quay area.
Insp Moses said: “We are having problems in Deeside with car and house windows being smashed in the early hours. We would ask motorists to think about where they park their cars and make sure they’re in a well lit area.
“We have done an awful lot of pro-active policing including increased patrols at night time.”
Anyone with information is asked to call North Wales Police on 101.