POLICE are hunting vandals who could have caused an environmental disaster near Darlington.

The Sadberge sewage works have been vandalised several times recently, the latest ten days ago when people broke in and caused damage with what the police believe was a hockey stick.

A Northumbrian Water spokesman said: "Vandals are causing hundreds of pounds of damage at the taxpayers' expense at Sadberge treatment works. The effect has the potential for the discharge of sewage causing pollution and significant environmental damage.

"Anyone found causing damage will be held responsible and may be prosecuted.

"In view of this, we are considering increasing patrols in the area and we would urge anybody with any information to contact Darlington police on 0845 606 0365."