A CHURCH in New Milton which has been plagued by vandalism won its bid for new security measures to protect it from future attacks.
New Forest District Council gave the go-ahead for five CCTV cameras and a pair of steel protective window grills to be installed at St Mary Magdalene Church.
The decision was welcomed by Mike Hamilton, a volunteer for the church committee who hoped the fixtures would act as a deterrent and put an end to costly repair bills.
“We’ve had sporadic incidents at the church,” Mr Hamilton told the A&T.
“Every couple of years it gets bad down there with people smashing windows or taking tiles off the lychgate roof.
“Just repairing the windows and putting the grills up will bring some comfort to the congregation, but having the CCTV will make us aware of what is going on in the area.
“Any footage captured could also be used as evidence for the police if needed.”
As reported in the A&T, past incidents included a thanksgiving memorial service being interrupted by a group of youths banging on windows at the Grade 2 listed building off Church Lane.
A stone was thrown through a car’s rear window when the gang was challenged during the incident in June last year, which was later reported to police.
Mr Hamilton said he had previously been forced to travel to Lymington police station to report trouble at the church after being unable to make contact via the 101 non-emergency line.
It is hoped work to fit the cameras and window grills, at a cost of around £5,000, will begin within the next month, depending on the coronavirus situation.