Volunteers left 'heartbroken' at teenage 'scum' besieging Portsmouth community centre with vandalism every night

VOLUNTEERS have been left ‘heartbroken’ amid teenage ‘scum’ vandalising a community hub.

Friday, 16th April 2021, 4:23 pm

Fratton Community Centre has been under siege during the past week from a group of ‘moron’ teenagers who have destroyed a bolted down picnic table, damaged a fence, left graffiti, smashed bottles and set a fire close to the building entrance.

A post from the centre on Facebook alongside pictures of the vandalism said: ‘So this is what remains of our picnic table that was bolted to the floor at the front of the centre.

‘We have suffered a lot of petty vandalism recently, however, this has really broken our hearts as we know so many of our visitors liked to make use of this seated area.

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Vandalism at Fratton Community Centre

‘We are invested in bringing the community together but are struggling with how to tackle these mindless acts of destruction.’

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Barrie Fredericks, a centre user, wrote on the post: ‘This is what morons get up to.’

He added: ‘information required to name and shame these scum.’

Vandalism at Fratton Community Centre

Tom Coles, chairman of the centre, said the incidents had been ongoing for a ‘significant period over a few nights’ and had become ‘pretty bad’.

He said brazen mobs of teenage boys and girls had even been openly vandalising the centre and abusing residents who had tried to intervene.

‘It’s been going on a for at least a week now. Every night as it gets dark a group of youths gather and destroy the place,’ he said.

‘They have been giving abuse back to residents who try and stop them.

‘It is the emotional damage that hurts our volunteers who work hard and have had to clean up every morning.

‘We’ve since had two benches donated but we won’t be putting these out yet.’

He added: ‘We want to arrange a meeting with police to see how we can prevent this and try and catch those who are doing it. The council have taken away the CCTV to look at.

‘We have been told some names but if anyone has any information then they can post a note through the door.’

A police spokeswoman said: ‘It was reported to us that a group of young people had damaged property at Fratton Community Centre, including a fence and a bench.

‘It was also reported that they had left graffiti on walls at the centre.

‘An investigation into this incident is underway.’

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