A MAN unhappy with how police responded when vandals attacked his property turned detective to track down the culprits.
Brian Connor, 62, who has a heart condition, was spurred into action after youths tore down the hedge around his garden in Larch-dale Close, Whitby.
The hedge had sentimental value, as he met his wife Joan in 2001 while she was pruning it.
Mr Connor distributed leaflets detailing the offence to other houses in the area, and was stunned when residents gave him the names of several suspects.
He has now passed these to Ellesmere Port police together with a CCTV recording of those allegedly responsible.
But he says he is disappointed officers didn't respond immediately to the incident, or do any detective work themselves.
He had to hire a JCB to dig up the damaged hedge and re-turf the area, costing him £150.
Mr Connor said: 'On Thursday, February 19, at 8.30pm, youths flattened a 20-year-old hedge at my house and damaged a wooden fence belonging to a neighbour.
'I caught them on the CCTV installed at my house, and they actually stayed at the scene for a while. I called the police, but when officers did not arrive after 45 minutes, the youths left.
'Eventually, a WPC arrived from Neston an hour after I'd called, and she apologised for being late, saying they were busy, and took details.'
But Mr Connor took matters into his own hands by producing a leaflet detailing the offence and distributing it in the area on Thursday night.
He said: 'Before I got home, I'd had the first response. I now have names, ages and addresses of suspects, which I've passed to the police. I feel I have succeeded where the police have failed. It's a shame I had to do my own detective work. And I now under-stand why people don't report things to the police.'
Chief Insp Barry Travis praised Mr Connor, saying: 'Thanks to his sterling work, we have identified suspects and action will be taken if appropriate.'
He added: 'Anyone who tries different numbers to contact us, without success should call 999.'