Police pledge to help council improve security following spate of vandalism on Portland

A SPATE of vandal attacks have been reported on Portland over the summer – leading to a police pledge for security improvements. Portland Town Council said there has been a ‘large increase’ of vandalism recently as it reported another of its benches was destroyed last week. The bench at Easton Gardens was said to have been completely destroyed by yobs on Tuesday, September 7.

Earlier this summer graffiti was also sprayed on the sea wall at a well-known beauty spot on Chesil Beach, below The Cove House Inn. A spokesperson for Portland Town Council said: “Unfortunately, another bench was vandalised beyond repair last night. This one is at Easton Gardens.

Portland Town Council said another bench was vandalised beyond repair.

Picture: Portland Town Council “We have been experiencing a large increase in acts of vandalism to our toilets and other public facilities over the last few weeks. Not only is it extremely time consuming for our team, but it is also a continual expense.

If you see an act of vandalism to our public facilities, we encourage you to please report it to Dorset Police by calling 101 or filling out an online crime report.” Last month, also at Easton Gardens, near the entrance, the male public toilets were vandalised and had to undergo repairs. As a result, the town council decided to close the toilets to the public earlier during the summer months in an attempt to prevent further costly damage. Police refuted claims that the number of reports of criminal damage had increased but said they were committed in helping the town deal with the ongoing issue and shared the council’s concerns.

Neighbourhood Chief Inspector David Parr, of Weymouth and Portland police, said: “Across Portland, reports of criminal damage to police have not increased compared to previous years. “However, no matter what the numbers reported, any incident has an impact on the local community and we are working hard to reduce any form of anti-social behaviour and criminal damage. “Therefore, the local neighbourhood policing team is working with Portland Town Council to review security options for facilities in the area and look at improving CCTV coverage.

“Officers are carrying out patrols, both in uniform and plain clothes, to target anyone who is involved with anti-social behaviour, crime or disorder. “We would encourage everyone to be vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour that they witness to the police. “If you have information about who was responsible, please contact Dorset Police at www.dorset.police.uk, via email 101@dorset.pnn.police.uk or by calling 101.

Alternatively, to stay 100 per cent anonymous, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers online at Crimestoppers-uk.org or call Freephone 0800 555 111.” Portland Town Councillor, Paul Kimber, said: “The problem is that everybody suffers from this damage. I do have to say that we have some great cleaners that do a lot of repairing after the vandalism.

“A lot of benches tare dedicated to loved ones so it is very sad when this happens. “I don’t think it’s on the increase, but we do have to be vigilant. “We do look at prevention and how we can keep this under control.

That’s why the opening times for the toilets have been changed.

Ideally I would like to have them open 24/7, especially during the pandemic.”

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