Vandals cause £1,000 worth of damage to Sidmouth beach huts

PUBLISHED: 12:06 01 September 2017 | UPDATED: 15:33 01 September 2017

Sidmouth's beach huts. Ref shs 0839-03-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife

Sidmouth's beach huts. Ref shs 0839-03-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife

Archant

Vandals have caused up to £1,000 of damage to Sidmouth’s beach huts in a five-day spate.

The district council says 14 out of its 26 beach huts had locks broken, with some being damaged more than once.

Staff also have to repair huts which had holes kicked through their adjoining walls, causing an estimated £800-£1,000 to repair.

A police spokesman said the damage was caused between August 24 and 28.

Beach hut renters described the incident as ‘unpleasant’ after finding out about the vandalism.

Alan Fellow-Bennett, 66, of All Saints’ Road, said vandals had returned three nights on the trot across the bank holiday weekend.

He added: “I have had a beach hut on and off for the last 20 years. When I went down there this morning I noticed our door had been kicked in. Luckily they didn’t do much damage in the inside like they did some of the other huts.

“Some items were stolen, but nothing of any value.”

A beach hut renter, who wished to remain anonymous, said the vandals had helped themselves to food and drink in a number of the huts.

She said: “At least half of them [the sheds] have or will have to have new locks because they have been forced in. It’s just the intrusion and making a mess. They have taken out what they wanted, it’s very unpleasant.

“It leaves a very bad taste in your mouth.”

An East Devon District Council spokeswoman urged anyone with information to come forward to its customer services team.

She added: “Over the past five days the beach huts in Sidmouth have suffered vandalism on a daily basis, resulting in 14 of the 26 huts having all their locks broken, some of them more than once, requiring new locks to be fitted.

“In fact, two huts have had their locks replaced by our contractors twice in two days. Two huts have had holes kicked through their adjoining wall.

“In the meantime, please stay vigilant and let us know if you see anyone behaving suspiciously. It is such a shame when people are intent on spoiling the enjoyment of those who would like to make use of the beach huts.”

Anyone who saw anything is asked to call the police on 101 and quote crime reference number 073604/17 or call the customer services team on 01395 516551.

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