A GROUP of yobs were chased by police after smashing a derelict building with a sledgehammer.

The group of three were caught red handed in Eastwood Park by a member of the public, who immediately contacted the police.

The witness, who wished to remain anonymous, has recalled watching the havoc unfold.

The 30-year-old, from Eastwood, said: “I was quite stunned when I saw them walking around with a sledgehammer and nobody had said anything or called the police. That’s the bystander effect I suppose.

“When they started to smash the boarded door of the park’s derelict toilet block, I knew I had to call the police.

“They were clearly trying to break inside to muck about and cause chaos, and this was all in broad daylight at around 3.30pm. It was very brazen, especially when there were people about at the time, but they just seemed to be walking by.

“We’ve never seen something like this before. It makes you wonder what’s next.

“It looked like there were three of them but there could’ve been more. Luckily it didn’t seem like they were out to hurt anyone.”

Following Wednesday’s ordeal, the witness would like to commend police for their prompt response.

He added: “The police came virtually straight away, only ten minutes after I called.

“They were chasing the kids around to try and get the sledgehammer off them, and they ended up running into somebody’s back garden.

“Police cornered them and took it from there.

“Thankfully there wasn’t much damage to the building, they didn’t get very far with breaking in. It must’ve been derelict for the past 15 years.

“I want to personally say thank you to the police for their swift response. They were fantastic.”

A spokesperson from Essex Police said: “A 15-year-old boy was voluntarily interviewed and inquiries are still ongoing.”