Anger at damage to St Annes beach huts
The owner of a prime Fylde attraction is calling for CCTV to be installed on St Annes Promenade after being angered by another vandalism spree at his property.
One of St Annes Beach Huts had wooden panels smashed as an apparent attempt was made to break into it just hours into a new year, which will see the huts business celebrate its 10th anniversary.
Stuart Robertson, who runs the award-winning seafront feature with his wife Zoe, quickly repaired the damage, which follows a run of damage to windows at the huts in recent months - but says CCTV in the area would be a big help in a bid to prevent repeats.
“It’s certainly a disappointing start to the New Year,” said Stuart. “Clearly the vandals were trying to get into one of the huts by removing the back panels.
“I always knew the beach huts would get a certain amount of vandalism when I came up with idea for the business so I try not to let it upset me too much but some CCTV on the promenade would be a great deterrent.
“We’ve had a lot of smashed windows over the last few months. To combat this I’ve been doing my best to drop the security shutters as soon as the huts are vacated and no longer in use.
“It’s not easy as we often have a few huts in use even through winter, with guests leaving at all different times of the day and night.
“I’ve also stocked up on replacement windows as we often have bookings the following day in the damaged huts, so repairs are needed really quickly.”
PSCO Damian Rowe, of St Annes Police, said: “We are increasing patrols in the area, including having as many officers out on foot in key areas at the key times. We are scanning and analysing data to find out where this anti-social behaviour is happening too.
“We know most of the locations, we know who the majority of the group involved are and we are addressing this with parents, schools and local youth co-ordinators as well.
“AFC Fylde are currently running a divert youth programme through the local community trying to assist with 11-17 year olds through a recruitment campaign to try and address some of these issues with some of these youngsters too.
“The increase on foot is our main proactive engagement and we will continue targeting the key areas at key times. All local neighbourhood police team staff are aware of these issues and we are working together to target those involved.
“The offending and anti-social behaviour is forming part of a specific policing plan for St Annes. Working with community beat managers will give us a better chance to try and catch these offenders and take appropriate action.
“We would encourage anyone with information about the offending to call police immediately on 101. In an emergency all 999.”
The first of the Robertsons’ huts were installed between the mini-links golf course and the shore in 2012.
The business won visitor experience of the year at the Lancashire Tourism Awards in 2016 as well as regularly being rated Fylde’s No 1 attraction on the Tripadvisor travel website.
Ten huts installed in 2018 took the total there to 36 and the Robert have planning permission for 10 more. All have been built by Ecologic Developments, specialist carpenters based in Dorset.
Fylde Council was contacted for a comment regarding the plea for CCTV.
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