Coach lamp vandals prompt police crackdown plea

PUBLISHED: 10:01 08 December 2008 | UPDATED: 11:49 17 June 2010

POLICE are urging members of the public to help them in their mission to prevent vandalism and to catch the perpetrators. Sergeant Andy Turner told the Herald that the police need the help and support of the public to prevent crimes such as criminal damag

POLICE are urging members of the public to help them in their mission to prevent vandalism and to catch the perpetrators.

Sergeant Andy Turner told the Herald that the police need the help and support of the public to prevent crimes such as criminal damage.

He said burglaries in the Salcombe Hill area had stopped as a result of a member of the public who contacted the police after reading an article in the Herald.

"It really has been proven that public support really does help the police.

"A lot of people took the trouble to call us about the burglaries and that is what we want against vandalism as well," he said.

His plea comes after another incident of vandalism occurred at the weekend.

Derek Hall, 61, of Sidford Road, said his property was damaged in the early hours of the morning.

He said: "We have got coach lamps on the driveway which get ripped up regularly and it happened again on Saturday night or Sunday morning."

"We report it to the police every time but I know of people who haven't reported it to them.

"I'm fed up with everyone telling me that crime is lower than ever when it doesn't seem that way."

Mr Hall's elderly mother who lives nearby has also been a victim of vandalism.

He added: "My mother had her front doorbell punched off the door. She is really scared that people have been on her property.

"It really unnerves her and she won't go out when it's dark now."

Sergeant Turner stressed that this particular area is paid close attention to because it is "an area of concern".

He said: "Sidmouth officers do have a big area to cover but when officers are able to patrol this area we do.

"Over the last 12 months people's gates have been removed and things like that.

"This is classed as a petty crime but not for the people it happens to as it can be very expensive.

"The people doing this have no idea of the knock-on effect and we treat it very seriously."

But he reiterated the point that public co-operation is essential.

"It is very frustrating when people see something but don't ring it in," he said.

"To protect people from this sort of crime and investigate it, we really do need the help from the public and we would urge anyone who sees vandalism to contact us.

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