Police have confirmed that 26 gnomes strapped to lampposts in a busy shopping centre were not stolen.

The Argus reported last week how pranksters taped the gnomes to posts in Broad Street, Seaford, complete with cryptic messages.

Officers initially thought they had been stolen from a garden centre but have since said they believe they were bought by teenagers.

Seaford police sergeant David Kemp said: "We have established that the little fellows were bought by some high spirited youngsters who disfigured them with some rather gruesome messages before attaching them to posts around the town.

"We are attempting to re-gnome them in the hope that they will recover from their ordeal and strike a more traditional pose with fishing rods, ponds and flowers."