DRIVERS have praised effective police action, using prominent signage and temporary CCTV, to tackle stone-throwing yobs on a Ledbury bridge.

Since the special measures were introduced, just over a week ago, there have been no further incidents of rocks being hurled at car windscreens.

And drivers say they are feeling safer when passing under the bridge on the Hereford Road.

Inspector James Ashton of the Herefordshire Rural Safer Neighbourhoods Team said that one problem was that the bridge, on Ledbury's Town Trail, was not covered by permanent town or county council CCTV cameras; but another solution was found, to deter further incidents.

He said: "Police do have access to alternative, temporary measures which can be used when it is proportionate and appropriate to do so.

"I would much rather prevent crime than detect it and making use of these tactics – and advertising the fact – helps prevent further victims, damage and potential injury."

The warning notice from the police states: "Anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated. It is a Criminal Offence under the Public Order Act 1986 to cause harassment, alarm and distress to others.

"CCTV operates in this area. You will be seen. You will be reported. You will be identified. You will be prosecuted."

The most serious incident took place at the end of August, when yobs hurled rocks onto passing cars - hitting a woman's windscreen and badly damaging the windscreen.

Just minutes later, her husband's car was also attacked as it passed under the bridge.

Wellington Heath resident Mike Farrington, whose car was targeted, said at the time: "Whatever hit my wife's car could have killed a cyclist or pedestrian, or could have resulted in an accident, if the shock caused the driver to swerve."

The police decision to advertise the presence of temporary CCTV at the bridge has not been welcomed by everyone, because of the fear it might now prevent the culprits from ever being caught.

Posting on the Voice of Ledbury site on Facebook, Sara Johns said: "If it hadn’t had been publicised, the swines could have been caught in action.

"They wouldn’t know if there were cameras there or not."

But Lyn-Marie Norton said: "By using CCTV and a notice it deters them.

"Police are in the business of assessing risk. The risk is so high in this instance it's better to prevent the offence than catch the offenders. There's a massive risk of the offenders killing someone; how on earth is it better to risk that happening than hopefully stopping them by using the signs and CCTV?"

Many Ledbury residents are happy that the problem seems to have been nipped in the bud by the police.

Cameron Pound said: "Well done to the police - making sure we can drive safely again and not have to worry!"

And Garry Clark, while offering his thanks to the police, expressed the view that children or young people might be to blame.

He said: "Thanks and gratitude to the police. Perhaps if parents kept a eye on what their little darlings were up to the police wouldn’t have used valuable time and resources in the first place."

Paul Fletcher said the Hereford Road was not the only spot in Ledbury where motorists had apparently run the risk of having their cars stoned.

He said: "Catching those responsible and teaching them a lesson would be good; but they'll just find somewhere else to cause havoc in Ledbury. Two weeks ago some teenagers were messing about with the traffic lights and kicking signs over by Ledbury Primary School.

He added: "One teenager pretended to throw something at my car but soon ran off after I started reversing back.

"Parents need to take more responsibility for their kids."