A group of teenagers damaged a cross and statue at a church in Claydon, near Ipswich.

The incident happened at St Peter’s Church in Church Lane at about 3.45pm on Thursday, Suffolk police said.

About 10 minutes after the church had been locked, a loud bang was heard by residents and a group of children were then seen running from the church into Church Lane, causing oncoming traffic to stop.

They were heading in the general direction of Claydon High School.

The church door was found to have been opened and damage was caused inside to a cross, statue and candles.

The suspects have been described as a group of eight teenagers, believed to be four boys and four girls and aged between 13 and 15.

They were all wearing dark-coloured clothing.

Police are appealing for any drivers in the area at the time to check dashcam footage.

Anyone with information related to the incident is urged to contact the Crime Coordination Centre at Suffolk police, quoting crime reference number 81614/22.