CCTV call after vandals wreck Sidmouth gardens - again

‘DISGRACEFUL’ youths who unleashed Friday the 13th horror on Sidmouth’s Connaught Gardens - for the second time in a fortnight - have sparked a call for CCTV.

Around 180 youngsters descended on the normally tranquil tourist attraction at around 7pm - before inflcting �3,000 of damage.

Police swooped on the attraction and seized booze and drugs after they discovered the party had been pre-arranged through social network websites and text messages.

Officers were left frustrated when the massive number dispersed into smaller groups that roamed the town into the early hours of Saturday – leaving broken bottles and litter in their wake.

During the night, vandals targeted Connaught Gardens and a memorial bench, wrecked a flowerbed, smashed shelter windows and lobbed a pair of bins over a cliff. Broken glass was left throughout the area.

Police said a fire had been lit in a shelter in the gardens and one had been prepared for the venue’s grandstand.

The massive congregation of youths were from schools across East Devon and Exeter, including Sidmouth.

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Police Sergeant Andy Turner said: “I’m extremely disappointed that an event like this has taken place and damage has been caused to one of our picturesque gardens.

“Police are actively seeking who is responsible for the damage.”

The Herald reported earlier this month how a similar sized party on April 2 ended with �500 of damage to the gardens.

Sgt Turner added: “Not all of the children who attended the event are criminals, but they will know who is responsible. I would urge them to come forward and let us know who is doing this.”

“This further spate of vandalism is disgraceful,” said Councillor Stuart Hughes.

“I sincerely hope those responsible will be caught and dealt with by the courts as it is the council tax payers who are picking up the bill.

“I believe consideration should be given to the provision of some form of CCTV system in Connaught Gardens.”

Contact police with information on 101, or Crimestoppers – in confidence – on 0800 555 111.