TWO children have been found to be the culprits of a spate of vandalism of a local cemetery which saw headstones pushed over and grave ornaments smashed.

The graveyard adjacent to Holy Trinity Church in Elsecar was targeted last week with 11 headstones pushed over, eight vases smashed and porcelain teddy bears taken from children's graves and smashed along with floral tributes.

After stepping up patrols, police caught a nine-year-old Elsecar boy in the act of pushing over a gravestone. When the officer took him home, it emerged that the boy and his ten-year-old sister were responsible for the vandalism.

A spokesman for the police said both children are very sorry for their actions. They have been made to do a litter pick in the cemetery to apologise.

PC Craig Sumpter added: "This is a terrible set of circumstances where two children have attacked gravestones and damaged personal items of grieving families.

"It is hoped that the experience and restorative justice will teach them and others that this type of behaviour is not acceptable.

"What all children need to consider is that foolish, unnecessary actions can have a detrimental affect on other people."