MEMBERS of South West Durham's Credit Union may lose out on dividends due to a spate of vandalism attacks at the main office in Shildon.

The glass of the front door was smashed in a third attack two weeks ago at the union office, in Church Street, Shildon, costing the company more than £200 in repairs.

The front windows have been smashed twice in the past three months.

Vandals also targeted Davison's hardware store, in Church Street, the same day the Credit Union office windows were broken on the third occasion.

The Credit Union is a not-for-profit organisation made up of people who save regularly to create a pot of money and used as low-interest loans to members.

Any surplus cash is divided between union members.

An annual three per cent dividend is normally given to members, but this year, the surplus will be funding the repair costs instead.

Union staff and members are furious that the cost of repairs is coming straight from their own pockets.

Development worker and office manager Isobel English said: "These vandalism attacks are disgusting.

"We keep repairing the damage, but the vandals just keep coming back and because we are a non-profit making company we have to use the money that would normally go straight to our loyal members.

"We have been based here for five years and have had no trouble until now. The attacks are giving Shildon an awful name, the vast majority of people here are lovely, so we hope we can get the message across to vandals to stop this."

Julie Gibson, 45, from The Oval, in Shildon, has been a member of the Credit Union for more than three years.

She said she thinks the vandalism attacks are a disgrace, adding: "I have been getting great service for years and it is disgusting that mindless individuals are making us lose money for nothing."

Church Street has CCTV cameras close to the Credit Union office, but the vandals were not caught on camera.

Durham Police are investigating the incidents.