A CRICKET club is counting the cost after vandals caused thousands of pounds worth of damage and stole stock and equipment during a break-in. 

Whalley Cricket Club, on Station Road, was targeted sometime between 8pm on Monday and 6am on Tuesday. 

Crooks smashed a window at the clubhouse before climbing through into the bar area.

They then took some goods including bottles of beer and TVs before damaging tills and causing some damage to changing rooms upstairs. 

Richard Palmer, chairman of the cricket club, who have installed new alarms and CCTV, described the incident as sickening.

He said: “They’ve stolen stock including beer, wine, spirits, crisps and chocolate.

“While TVs, a PA system and hi-fi equipment has been taken.

“The people who have done this have stolen probably around £2,000 worth of stock and caused thousands of pounds worth of damage.

“It’s sickening as we rely on volunteers and have spent thousands of pounds over the last few years doing the club up and improving security. 

“The season has only just started and they always target us around this time of the year.”

Mr Palmer has called for police to get tougher and increase their patrols after he said there had been a rise in crime in the area.

He said: “There is no police station in Whalley and when you phone up Accrington and Blackburn stations, they don’t seem to care.

“Police are understaffed and under resourced due to years of underfunding.

“Criminals have no fear anymore and don’t care as they know they can get away with it.

“There’s been a lot of vandalism and anti-social behaviour in Whalley recently and problems with drugs and nothing is done about it.

“More police are needed on patrol and tougher action.”

A police spokesman said: “It was reported to us at midday on Tuesday by someone who had been inside the cricket club.

“They reported to us that someone had smashed a window and climbed through into the bar area.

“Some bottles of booze and TVs were taken while tills had been damaged and some changing rooms upstairs.”

The break-in is being investigated.

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 quoting log number 0550 of April 23.A police spokesman said: