Officers said that several council-owned CCTV cameras have been deliberately damaged in the Regent Street area of Wellington.
The cameras, which were installed last year, were paid for from public money following consultation with residents and businesses.
Police have said that the devices on Mill Bank and Regent Street provide added protection to young people coming and going from Telford College and help to monitor football supporters on match days.
They also offer an additional layer of protection for the mosques in the area, which could be a target of hate crime.
Sergeant Peter Rigby from Wellington Safer Neighbourhood Team said: “This was not just an act of vandalism, but a deliberate and targeted effort to take the cameras out of service.
"What it has done instead, is highlight to us where we need to focus our efforts and confirmed the cameras are located in the right place.
“These are community assets, they will be replaced. We will be carrying out a thorough investigation and we would encourage local residents to report any suspicious behaviour."