Vandals target cricket club for third time in two months

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Mudeford Cricket Club vandals
The third vandalism attack on the club took place just weeks after the second (Photo: Dorset Police)

VANDALS have targeted Mudeford Cricket Club for a third time in just over two months as dismayed members were still arranging the clear-up after the last attack.

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Railings were ripped out from the veranda of the pavilion building, off Pauntley Road in Christchurch, near the front entrance – the opposite side to that damaged in the same way previously.

Club secretary Richard Leyshon told the A&T the railings damaged previously had not yet been replaced when the latest incident was discovered by the daughter of treasurer Rob Smith. The alarm was raised around 6.30pm last Wednesday.

A post on the Christchurch Police UK Facebook page, slamming the “mindless” offenders, featured pictures which also showed several toilet rolls strewn around the scene. However, no entry was gained to the pavilion and no other damage was reported.

“I think I’m equally vexed and frustrated as I was after the second time this happened,” Mr Leyshon said.

“This is the third time in a roughly eight-week period that this has happened.

“We are now in contact with Christchurch town clerk Dan Lucas who certainly seems to be taking the issue very seriously and the council will be discussing it at its next meeting.”

Discussions are expected to include increasing security at the premises, including the installation of CCTV cameras.

As reported in the A&T, the pavilion was last targeted during the night of 27th September when, in addition to the veranda railings being damaged, three windows were smashed.

The offenders also broke three glass panes in the door to the changing rooms, and another two panes at the front of the pavilion were cracked.

Before that, glass in the changing room door had been smashed during the night of 15th August.

Mr Leyshon explained that repairs and replacement glass were still being awaited following the second incident.

“I believe someone has been appointed to measure up the glass, but the work is not expected to begin until the week after next,” the secretary said.

Members of the public have again taken to social media to share their disgust at the vandals’ attacks on the pavilion, with some saying there seemed to be no deterrent for such offences.

One post on a local Facebook page said: “This is all I seem to hear about these past few months, what is wrong with these mindless idiots?”

Another wrote: “Why?! What possible reason? Mindless… need catching. Too much goes unpunished these days. Nothing to deter them.”

The reaction from the public was highlighted by Mr Leyshon as a positive outcome from the repeated acts of vandalism. He explained that neighbours had been remaining vigilant and there had been many offers of help from local residents.

“We’ve had good support from our neighbours who clearly don’t want this sort of thing going on either,” he said.

“There has also been plenty of coverage on social media, and a lot of people have offered their support by helping with the clear-up.

Commenting on the latest vandalism incident, a Dorset Police spokesperson said: “It is reported that damage was caused to the decking and fencing area.

“No arrests have been made and enquiries are ongoing into the report.”

Those with information should contact officers on 101 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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