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Pavilion hit in copycat orgy of vandalism

Garry Farley, co-chair of the Friends of Watson Park, shows off the latest damage.

Garry Farley, co-chair of the Friends of Watson Park, shows off the latest damage.

Vandals have been dubbed ‘morons’ after smashing 27 windows at a refurbished community building – just hours after they had been replaced following a previous attack.

Hi-tech Wi-Fi CCTV could now be installed near the pavilion in Watson Park amid fears the anti-social antics could ruin a special event planned to mark the centenary of the First World War.

Back then, the park was then used as an Army training camp and there are plans for an exhibition in the pavilion and to unearth old trenches to mark the 100th anniversary of the war.

The first vandal attack is believed to have happened on Saturday, February 15, when 15 small panes were smashed.

Building owners Blackpool Council installed a motion-sensor camera the following week and the panes were replaced onThursday, February 20. But some time between 5pm that day and 9am on Friday, February 21, many windows were put through again during a wrecking spree in which 27 panes were broken using roof slates. Repairs after the two incidents are thought to have cost nearly £1,000.

And the council says no image of the vandals was captured because the camera had been turned round by strong winds.

Garry Farley, chairman of the Friends of Watson Park, said: “We spent so much time and money on the building only for these morons to come along.

“We don’t know for sure it’s children but we’ve seen youngsters aged between about nine and 15 kicking balls on to the roof to dislodge slates.

“You have to ask questions of their parents - I’ve seen young people there after 9pm when it is pitch black.”

The double-glazed windows were part of extensions to the building, which were completed last October and cost £50,000. They offer community meeting facilities.

The replacements will now have a perspex sheet on the outside of the glass rather than on the inside as before.

Mr Farley, 61, of Pine Avenue, said he had spoken to the council about increasing CCTV to help deter vandals from ruining the war event, which is being spearheaded by town hall chiefs and the Army.

He said options could include Wi-Fi cameras which can connect to smart phones.

Coun Graham Cain, cabinet member for leisure, said the ‘mindless’ vandalism could have endangered people and that the cash needed for repairs could have been spent elsewhere. He said extra security measures were being considered.

 

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