Vandals target village cricket club again in ‘mindless’ attack

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Mudeford Cricket Club vandals
PC Mark Creasey surveys the damage caused to the pavilion during the night of 27th September (Photo: Dorset Police)

FRUSTRATED members of Mudeford Cricket Club were once again left picking up the pieces after another attack by vandals.

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Windows were smashed and wooden fencing was ripped from the front of the pavilion’s veranda when the building off Pauntley Road in Christchurch was targeted overnight.

Speaking to the A&T, secretary Richard Leyshon said he found out about the latest offence the following morning when treasurer Rob Smith told him of the damaged fencing.

Another person walking past the pavilion later reported seeing three windows broken. The door to the visitors’ changing rooms also had three of its six glass panes smashed.

“When I first saw it I thought this was not somebody trying to break in, but just causing damage for the sake of it,” Mr Leyshon said.

“I met up with the treasurer and we cleared up the glass, which was a hell of a job as it was safety glass that is designed to shatter into lots of tiny pieces.”

He added that after the police left the scene he noticed two panes of glass at the front of the pavilion had also been cracked.

The club has been vandalised several times, the secretary continued, estimating it was targeted about three times a year.

The most recent incident took place during the night of 15th August, when glass in the changing room door was broken.

“We constantly notify the council and the police about this, and the police say they will increase the number of vehicles driving past,” Mr Leyshon said.

“But realistically, the chances of them actually passing by when something is happening are very slim.

“It is hugely frustrating, but it’s also the sheer amount of time that it takes to clear up the glass when there are fragments of it everywhere posing a risk to passers-by, including dog walkers.

“We have to find the cost for hiring someone to do repairs or arranging for someone from the club to do them.”

Mudeford Cricket Club vandals
Some of the smashed windows (Photo: Mudeford Cricket Club)

Mr Leyshon pointed out he had frequently contacted the police about groups of disruptive youths loitering by the pavilion. Commending neighbours who raised the alarm about such a disturbance last Monday; he understood that police had quickly dispersed a group from the scene.

A Dorset Police spokesperson confirmed the force responded to this incident around 6.15pm, saying: “Officers attended the area and spoke to the individuals involved. No arrests were made.”

Investigations are continuing into the latest act of vandalism, which is believed to have taken place during the night of 27th September. People are being urged to come forward if they saw any suspicious activity.

Illustrated with photographs of neighbourhood officer PC Mark Creasey surveying damage at the pavilion, a post on the Christchurch Police UK Facebook page called the vandalism “mindless”.

Those with information should contact Dorset Police on 101, quoting crime reference number 55190153231, or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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