A POLICE officer had the window of his patrol car smashed by vandals - while he was interviewing a householder whose own window had been broken.

The officer was attending a house in Severn Way, on Darlington's Skerne Park estate, when the thugs struck on Saturday evening.

Police believe those responsible went on a spree of destruction at the weekend, smashing 12 windows on the estate.

Acting Inspector Alison Jackson, of Darlington police, said: "A woman contacted the police after her front window was put through.

"While the officer was at her house, the window on his Panda has been put through.

"It's very cheeky and we are very anxious not only to get hold of the person responsible for our window but for all the windows, as they are just as important."

On Friday evening, a car window was smashed in Shakespeare Road, with another car, in Wordsworth Road, and a house, in Arkle Crescent, having windows smashed in the early hours of Saturday.

On Saturday evening, as well as the police car and the house, another vehicle had a window smashed in Severn Way. Later, five house windows were put out in Ruskin Road, one in Esk Road and one in Wordsworth Road. A Seat Toledo in Coleridge Gardens had two windows smashed.

"We are pretty sure that it was the same group of youths responsible for all the damage," said Acting Insp Jackson

"They have just basically run amok."

Anyone with information can contact police on 0845 6060 365 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.