HEXHAM has seen a rise in 'really disturbing' vandalism, the town's mayor has said.

There have been a number of reports of anti-social behaviour and criminal damage in the area including at the Sele.

The electrical support system at the bandstand was damaged and a 'Hexham Giant' model installed by Miscreations theatre group was also attacked.

Vandalism has also been reported at the Sele play area and at Quatre Bras allotments.

Mayor of Hexham Derek Kennedy said: "All in all, there has been a number of rather aggressive acts of vandalism.

"We also heard that at Gilesgate Court people had climbed onto the scaffolding there and had been looking into people's bedrooms, which is really disturbing.

"We're really concerned. We've notified the police of all of this and we're looking as a council to have a conversation with the community police and say look, we're starting to get really concerned by all these different disturbances.

"The police said they are going to look at more community police but we really want to talk to them a bit more.

"These aren't just little bits of vandalism, it's really disturbing vandalism now. It's getting beyond a joke."

Coun. Kennedy added: "We don't want it to end in some sort of tragedy - whether someone had of fell of the scaffolding or if somebody had a heavy blunt instrument such as a hammer in the park and was smashing up the bandstand, well what would have happened if somebody came across them and a confrontation took place? You just don't know.

"If people do come across any incidents, please call police immediately. Don't wait."

A Northumbria Police spokesperson said: “We’re aware of a number of recent reports of anti-social behaviour and criminal damage in the Hexham area including damage to the Sele play park, the bandstand and at the Quatre Bras allotments.

“As a force, we are committed to tackling anti-social behaviour and bringing effective justice against those found to have been involved.

“That’s why, throughout the year, we run dedicated operations and initiatives to tackle pockets of disorder, identify perpetrators and ultimately keep our communities safe.

“We recognise the behaviour of a minority can have an adverse impact on the communities we serve – and we will continue to work hand-in-hand with the public and partners to tackle any issues.

“We would always encourage anybody who is affected by anti-social behaviour to report it to us so we can address any concerns and take appropriate action.”