police reviewing CCTV after cars vandalised at Grange Leisure, Stratton

Grange Drive Leisure Centre is bringing in new security measures following an incident where youths wearing balaclavas with chains and hammers smashed up cars in the car park

Grange Drive Leisure Centre is bringing in new security measures following an incident where youths wearing balaclavas with chains and hammers smashed up cars in the car park

First published in News
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YOUTHS armed with chains and hammers went on the rampage and smashed up cars parked at a leisure centre.

Police are currently reviewing CCTV pictures from Grange Leisure, in Stratton, after a gang of around 14 young people were seen entering the car park at around 10.15pm last Thursday, shortly after the centre had closed.

The youngsters all wore balaclavas and smashed the windows and damaged the body work of five different cars in the frenzy.

A spokesman from Wiltshire Police said: “A group of youths have caused damage to several cars that were parked at the community centre in Grange Drive.

“Five cars were damaged. The youths were wearing balaclavas and used different implements to damage the vehicles.

“Police officers are reviewing the CCTV available at the centre.”

As well as the CCTV cameras, the centre is now patrolled nightly by a security guard and working dog.

Ian Green, manager at Grange Leisure, said: “We are working with the police and talking about what new security measures we can put in place and we have already got a security guard with dogs who is now patrolling the building.

“For people that know about it I think it was quite shocking but at the end of the day it’s an isolated incident and we’ve put better security measures in place.

“I just want to reassure customers that we are taking every precaution and we have increased our security measures and we don’t feel there is a further risk to our customers or our staff.

The incident has also prompted Stratton St Margaret Parish Council, which has offices at the leisure centre, to increase security around the building.

A council spokesman said: “To ensure that our residents and employees feel safe at night we have contracted MPS Secure to patrol our premises at night.

“Stratton St Margaret Parish Council is using its discretionary powers to good use by assisting with crime prevention measures.

“The safety of visitors and employees to all council owned buildings and land is of paramount importance and the council working in partnership with the police will take whatever steps necessary to protect this.”

News of the incident came as some surprise to Sylvia and Henry Collins, who live near to the leisure centre in Grange Drive.

Sylvia, 72, said: “It is a bit worrying when you hear about these sorts of things and it is a shame because it is such a good leisure centre.”

Neighbour Reg Burn said trouble was rare in the area.

“Occasionally people throw bottles over the wall and I’ve found a cone in the garden but nothing too bad,” he said.

Police are urging anyone with information regarding the incident to contact them on 101.

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