An emergency meeting has been called after a spate of vandalism in a north Cumbrian town.
Aspatria Town Council has called a meeting to discuss the problem with a number of incidents in recent months, with damaged car wing mirrors, vandalism at local play areas, flowers damaged at the train station and toilets broken into among the issues reported.
“As a council, we are very concerned about it. We don’t normally have a council meeting in August, the next meeting was supposed to be in September, but we’ve called an emergency meeting for Tuesday,” said Alan Maxwell, mayor of Aspatria.
“There are numerous things going on and we are wanting to establish what, if anything, the council can do about it. We want people to be aware that vandalism costs money and it is the council that has to pay and the council doesn’t really have any money, it belongs to the people in the town.
“People put requests for things for us to do which we can’t if we have to keep putting right vandalism.”
It is hoped a representative from the police will be in attendance at the meeting.
“In the main park in Aspatria the gate that has been there for 100 years has been damaged,” said Alan.
“If we are honest it has seen better days but someone has deliberately put their foot through it. Lots of people are taken aback by this.”
The mayor said that the play area at St Mungo’s Park was resurfaced with the help of Allerdale Borough Council after a combination of wear and tear and vandalism made it unsafe.
The resurfacing cost £12,000. “The youths see a little bit of wear and tear and start ripping it up,” said Alan.
“It seems to come in waves, it tends to escalate and then disappear. Recently we’ve seen incidents weekly.”
Acting Police Sergeant Leesa Edwards said: “We are aware of a number of incidents of antisocial behaviour within Aspatria and it’s a priority location for the neighbourhood policing team and partners.
“We would encourage the public to continue to report antisocial behaviour and vandalism as this is the best way to direct resources to the right areas to combat these incidents.
“Anyone with any information regarding antisocial behaviour is asked to contact police on 101, via our live chat on our website or report online. Alternatively, you can contact independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”
The meeting will be held at 7.30pm on August 10 at the Methodist Hall in the town.