Under seige

MINDLESS vandals have damaged a bowling green in a third attack on the club this year. To make matters worse the offenders scarred the Hitchin Bowling Club green at Bancroft Park by dragging a commemorative bench across it before driving its legs deep int

MINDLESS vandals have damaged a bowling green in a third attack on the club this year.

To make matters worse the offenders scarred the Hitchin Bowling Club green at Bancroft Park by dragging a commemorative bench across it before driving its legs deep into the turf.

The bench was then wrecked during the incident which took place between Friday evening and Sunday over the August Bank Holiday weekend.

The vandals' actions have left club members disgusted as the bench was presented to the town of Hitchin by the family of Stanley A. Granham who served on Hitchin Urban District Council from 1942 to 1955.


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Before this weekend it had stood in the park for several decades providing a quiet place to sit for people watching the sport or those taking a rest from playing.

Ken Porter, the club's midweek captain, said it was not the first time that a bench had been wrecked.

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He said: "This is the second memorial seat in the bowling greens area to suffer the same fate this year, and our memorial bench seats in the park are going now at a very fast rate.

"Soon there will be none left, and the memories of those they were there to commemorate destroyed along with the bench seats."

A CCTV camera was installed a few years ago to deter vandals at a cost of £1,000 to the club but it appears it has had little impact.

The camera is monitored from a control centre in Stevenage where two police officers are based.

However Mr Porter wants to know why the police were not aware of this incident until after it took place.

He said: "There have been three vandalism incidents in full view of the surveillance camera this year alone, and the police were unaware until the bowls club reported the incidents.

"Yet if you stand by the club pavilion for long enough, the camera will swing around and watch you, so why are the police not informed when criminal damage is in progress?"

A police spokes-man said they will be looking at the CCTV footage but added that looking through every minute of footage is not always possible.

She said: "In some situations it is not possible to fully view all the CCTV footage, i.e. if the times of the offences are over a long period. This is due to the way we have to manage resources with the amount of crimes that are reported to us.

"However, we will do whatever we can to look into a crime."

Police are appeal-ing for information and witnesses to the attack. You can call the police Crime Desk anonymously on 01992 533002, or similarly Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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