CRICKET club members fear it is becoming a magnet for crime after being targeted by thieves and vandals.

Accrington Cricket Club has been broken into eight times and suffered two attempted break-ins as well as ‘constant’ vandalism, all in the past 12 months.

The most recent break-in attempt last week will cost the club at least £100 to replace a damaged alarm system and pay the call-out fee.

Other incidents have included a drunken intruder found drinking lager after breaking a window.

In a separate incident ,around £600 damage was caused after intruders broke four doors, bar shutters and a burglar alarm system – but stole nothing.

Club members are now calling for the police to do more.

Player and committee member Jimmy Hayhurst said the club was also being vandalised regularly by groups of youths and members were regularly being verbally abused when they tried to intervene. He said: “It’s happening during the day at the same times. It wouldn’t take much to catch them. We are turning into a bit of a hot spot. The police do send a PCSO out from time to time but it is all more reactive than proactive.

“They say they cannot do anything without catching them – so catch them!

“The problem isn’t getting solved and we are starting to feel a bit fobbed off. I know they are dealing with cuts, but we are too.

“Our volunteers are trying their best and putting anti vandal paint down but some of our members are getting on and their efforts should be going towards building the club up.

“We feel we have been a bit too polite about it all and now we need to shout a bit that it needs sorting out.”

PC Lisa Robinson at Church and Milnshaw’s neighbourhood policing team said officers would be prioritising patrols.

PC Robinson added: “We are treating it as a hot spot area.

“We have given crime prevention advice, such as not leaving nets out because they may be damaged.

“We can’t be there 24/7 but it is something we take seriously.

“We are putting in place a patrol plan and encourage anyone with information to get in touch on 101.”