VANDALS playing with locks in Worcester have caused problems for canal boat owners.

Canal water levels were extremely low due to suspected antisocial behaviour.

It is thought the paddles at the top and bottom Bilford locks may have been left open on Tuesday evening (August 2).

A Canal and Rivers Trust employee at Bilford Lock said he believes that the disturbance reached as far as lock 9 in Blackpole, adjacent to Buckholt Drive.

The lock paddles had been left open, causing water levels to drain.

A spokesperson for the Canal and River Trust said: "We were alerted late last night of low water levels on the canal.

"A hit squad was dispatched to check out what the problem was.

"During the evening someone had decided to open the lock paddles and drain the water from the pound.

"Our team was on site until 4am trying to raise the water levels.

"Given the very dry spring and summer we’re experiencing we need to preserve our precious water resources as much as possible.

"During the summer we do sometimes see an increase in anti-social behaviour along some of our canals and waterways.

"We will monitor the situation and will take further action if needed."

On arrival at the locks this afternoon, everything seemed to have reverted to normal, and canal boats were safely passing through the lock.

Worcester News: Blackpole Lock 9.Blackpole Lock 9.

How do Locks work?

According to the Canal and Rivers Trust, most locks have two sets of gates (top and bottom) and a chamber which your boat enters into.

Locks also have openings at the top and bottom, and it is by opening these that water is allowed into and out of the chamber to raise or lower the water level - and hence the boat.

You open and close the paddles using a lock handle (or windlass) which you will carry with you whilst you are on the boat.