Sid Valley charity considers CCTV after attempted burglary

Sidmouth Voluntary Services' home at Twyford House

Sidmouth Voluntary Services' home at Twyford House - Credit: Archant

A ‘struggling’ Sid Valley charity will be looking for ways to finance CCTV for its headquarters, following an attempted burglary this week.

Sidmouth Voluntary Services [SVS], which is based in Twyford House, has called the latest incident ‘worrying’. Thieves managed to break in nine months ago and steal £1,000.

Centre manager Lisa Bertin said the SVS was already struggling to ‘balance the books’ and the cost to repair damage to one of the doors and fund CCTV equipment would ‘hit the charity hard’.

Priot to the latest burglary attempt, members had been at its headquarters in Coburg Road on Tuesday evening for the charity’s annual meeting, locking up after 9pm.

Lisa told the Herald: “We are not balancing our books; our expenses have been very high and we are really going to be hit hard. “We will need to put in CCTV cameras.

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“It’s a charity and we are struggling. It’s the last thing we need. It hit home today [Wednesday]. It looks like we are going to have to spend a significant amount; or raise it somehow.”

The charity has been part of the community for more than 50 years, helping the elderly and disabled.

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Lisa continued: “They scaled our very high gate and got into the courtyard.

“They knew which door to go for. They have used a crowbar to try and get in with a view to taking things.

“It’s very worrying; they seemed to know where to aim for.”

Among its services, the charity provides a lunch club serving a three course meal and transport for residents going on excursions or needing transport to medical appointments.

Lisa said: “We serve lunches at £5 a head and we serve 25 people a day. You can see that’s not a life-changing amount of money.”

Philip Deegan, chairman of trustees, added: “Even Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid only robbed banks, they never robbed charities.

“It does make you wonder what the world is coming to.”

A police spokesman said it had received reports of an attempted burglary overnight at Twyford House, in Coburg Road, between 8.45pm on Tuesday and 10am on Wednesday.

They added there had been confirmed damage to one of the doors, but nothing had been taken.

Residents who saw anything suspicious are asked to call 101 and quote crime reference CR/041579/16.

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