OUTRAGED villagers have reacted with fury after their carefully-made protest placards and banners were attacked by vandals.

The action group fighting plans to create a new police HQ in South Kilvington, near Thirsk, had positioned the placards around the village to make their feelings plain.

But when villagers awoke this morning, February 28, they found some had been stolen, others vandalised and a banner had been slashed and ripped to read in favour of the proposed building.

Action group chairman Barry Hitchen said: “At first we thought it was just an act of vandalism but now we think it’s more sinister as a suspicious vehicle was seen driving around the area”

He added: “We believe in everyone’s right to have their say but we don’t agree with malicious vandalism and theft. This must have been premeditated.”

He said three young men were seen the night before cruising around the area in a silver VW Golf with a dented rear end and all the details had been passed on to the police.

“We will not let something like this put us off our campaign and we will be carrying on,” he said.

A police spokesman confirmed they were investigating the incidents and appealed for anyone with information to come forward. Contact North Yorkshire Police on 101, select option one and ask for the force control room.