YOBS who tormented cattle at a small farm have been identified after an “overwhelming” response from the community.

Last month, the Echo reported that 41 cows from a farm in Little Chalvedon Hall, Bowers Gifford, had been let out of their enclosure.

Police released the disturbing images showing the teenagers entering the farm carrying large sticks of wood.

They caused distress to the animals by throwing items, before attempting to lead the cattle away from their shelter. The cattle feeder was then set on fire.

The Echo reported Sarah Lambert, who runs the farm, discovered it had been broken into on the Sunday morning.

Ms Lambert found 41 of the 70 cattle on the farm on the loose across the property. Luckily, none of the cattle were missing or dead however, Ms Lambert found one of the calves had a bell string tied very tightly around its neck.

Now police have found a number of those involved and are bringing them to justice.

Investigating officer PC Sam Creighton said: “Following the incident, the Basildon community policing team have identified 15 of the youths involved and are in the process of visiting them to address their behaviour.

“So far six of them have been placed on Acceptable Behaviour Contracts and their schools and landlords or housing associations have been notified.

“Where crimes are identified, those responsible will be dealt with proportionately and where necessary they may be subject to arrest and/or interview under caution.

Essex Police has various powers to address antisocial behaviour and crime involving youths.

“This can include enforced engagement with the Youth Offending Service, Parenting Orders, a civil injunction or a Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO), which lasts up to two years and any breach is an arrestable offence.

“We were overwhelmed with the response to our CCTV appeal and thank all those who contacted us.”

An Acceptable Behaviour Contract is an early intervention made against individuals who are perceived to be engaging in antisocial behaviour. The contracts, which are drawn up between officers, youngsters and their parents, can lead to a criminal behaviour order - formerly an Asbo - if they are not followed correctly.