Baldock church path closed off due to repeated vandalism

Baldock United Reformed Church.

Baldock United Reformed Church. - Credit: Archant

A path which runs through the grounds of a Baldock church is being closed off due to repeated vandalism – with people using the area to defecate and urinate.

Baldock United Reformed Church in Whitehorse Street will shut the path on Monday, meaning the public will no longer be able to cut through from Whitehorse Street to The Twitchell.

After the church underwent a refurbishment in 2011, the path was relaid and opened for all – only closing for maintenance and at Christmas and New Year.

The area has been used for drug taking and drinking in the past, with some people defecating and urinating.

Lights were installed in November 2011 in a bid to solve the problem, but since July of this year three posts have been regularly damaged and cost the church hundreds of pounds in repairs.

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The path, which is not a public right of way, will be permanently closed after the weekend apart from when the hall is being used.

Church elder Malcolm Gray said: “We have had problems with the path over the years when people would come in and urinate, defecate, drink and do drugs around there. Then there was also a problem with people damaging the brickwork on the building.

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“We installed lights, at our own expense, so that the path could be more easily seen. Unfortunately people have been breaking bulbs and leaving electric wires exposed on the ground which is very dangerous.

“The church cannot afford to fund the repairs every time someone fancies getting drunk and kicking them over. The path is used by commuters and pensioners every day, we have been kind in letting people use it and it has been thrown back in our face by a minority of mindless idiots. It’s a pity for everyone else. The damage started at around the time England were in the FIFA World Cup and there are often beer cans left around the path.

“This decision has not been taken lightly as it will inconvenience many people, but unfortunately a few with no regard to other’s property have spoilt it for the majority. Despite the path being locked and out of use, in the past people have pushed through the hedge to get in.”

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