CONCERNED residents have called for increased police patrols around Horncastle’s swimming pool complex after claiming yobs are putting lives at risk.
According to people living close to the site off Coronation Walk, gangs of youngsters have damaged a children’s play-park, wrecked litter bins, vandalised trees and lit fires.
One of the fires was dangerously close to the main pool building while there are allegations of loud music and under-age drinking.
Only last week, the News revealed valuable training equipment had been stolen from a store-room at an adjacent complex, used by three of the town’s sporting clubs.
At the time, police linked the thefts to acts of vandalism at Banovallum School and the Co-Op store in the High Street.
Police also confirmed a fire had been lit behind the swimming pool on the same evening the thefts took place.
Now, residents say another bonfire was lit last Thursday and a new litter bin, which replaced one damaged in the initial blaze, was ruined.
A resident, who did not wish to be named, said: “We’re used to kids hanging around in the area and for most of the holidays it hasn’t been a problem.
“They make a mess but most of them are probably bored and don’t cause any trouble.
“But just recently, it seems to have got worse. There are a few olders kids among them and that’s when the trouble has started.
“They go into the playground behind the pool and I hate to think what goes on there.
“There’s often a lot of noise and they light fires. You can see the flames and last week, they (the flames) were really close to the pool building.
“If the building had caught fire, anything could have happened. Someone could have been killed.
“I know the police do patrol down here but it would be nice to see more of them, especially later on at night.”
Paul Gibson, who walks his dogs in the area, said he was concerned about what he called “a recent increase in vandalism.”
He said: “A lot of people walk down here in the evening but my wife is afraid to come.
“There’s often a gang of children hanging around in the playground and while nothing has happened to my wife, it’s very intimidating.
“There are cans and bottles or alcohol strewn around the place most mornings and they have ripped branches off the trees to help light the fires.
“I know a bin was replaced a week or so ago and the following night, the new one went up in flames.
“From what I’ve been told, a lot of the kids involved are only 12 or 13 and yet we are talking about one or two o’clock in the morning.
“What are the parents doing letting kids roam the streets at that time?”
Sergeant Alisdair Booth, from Horncastle Police, said they were not aware of the latest vandalism and urged residents to report all incidents of anti social behaviour.
He said: “The neighbourhood policing team monitors all reported incidents of anti-social behaviour to ensure that appropriate actions and measures are put in place to deal with any incidents.
“I am not aware of any on-going problems regarding anti-social behaviour in the area of Coronation Walk.
“I would encourage people to report all incidents of concern to the police so we can ensure that they can be dealt with as necessary.
“The neighbourhood teams continue to conduct patrols in areas of concern and we will continue to provide re-assurance.”
Police have appealed for informatiion about the theft from the sports club complex - and the initial fire behind the swimming pool.
They are also asking for help in tracking down offenders in a seperate incident which involved vandals releasing animals from a pen at St Lawrence School.
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Weather for Horncastle
Friday 24 May 2013
Temperature: 4 C to 9 C
Wind Speed: 29 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 6 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: North