A new viral TikTok trend known as “beaning”, where vandals hurl open cans of baked beans and ketchup at parked cars and homes, has prompted a police warning.
Police community support officers in West Mercia have urged parents to “check” on their children’s social media following the spate of vandalism south of the village Wye.
“Beaning” vandals also empty or smear tins of baked beans over cars, driveways, windows and front doors of houses.
PCSO Carol Marsh said: “Parents, are you aware where your children are when they’re not at home? Do you know what they’re up to?
“Do you check their social media, especially TikTok?”
Teenagers ‘bulk buying’ tins of baked beans
Videos accompanied with the hashtag “bean bandits”, showing children vandalising people’s homes with the British staple, have surged in the past six months.
The craze prompted police in September to tell shopkeepers to be suspicious of teenagers showing an interest in “bulk buying” tins of baked beans.
West Yorkshire Police said at the time: “If you work in a shop, please can you be aware of youths buying large quantities of cans of beans.
“If you have children living at home, please be mindful if you see them removing cans of beans from the family home.”
The social media craze also prompted Surrey Police to write: “Local officers have received reports of incidents in Wonersh where beans and other food has been poured onto residents’ front doors and cars overnight.
“The victims are understandably distressed by this unacceptable behaviour.”
Heinz UK has previously expressed its dismay at youngsters putting their products to such use.
Nigel Dickie, a spokesman for Heinz UK, said the company was “appalled” to see baked beans wasted in this way.