Let’s see an example set by reaction to vandalism

A fixed-odds gambling machine Picture: Daniel Hambury/PA Wire

NEWS COMMENT: A move in the right direction but still not a win for all

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If you were to look through a year’s, a month’s or even just a week’s worth of editions of The News you would find plenty of references to The Rowans Hospice.

These references would range from the front page, to the smallest news in brief about a fundraising coffee morning or table-top sale on page 28. They’d be fairly varied, but what would unite all the stories would be the affection in which the hospice is held in this part of the world.

Almost universally, anyone who comes into contact with The Rowans will come away singing its praises, and often will go on to fundraise or help out in some way, even if it’s just through visiting its charity shops. And that’s why the news of the hospice’s vandalised vans is so depressing.

It’s senseless, it’s pointless, and it’s not at all impressive. It’s low-level, thoughtless idiocy that has ramifications far beyond what the perpetrators can have imagined.

While we deplore the actions of those who have caused difficulty – and extra cost – to the hospice’s trading arm, let us not dwell too long on the act itself.

Instead, let’s hope that anyone who can help, will help – in the same spirit that sees thousands of people across the area assist the hospice every year in manifold ways.

Any businesses on the Farlington industrial estate, if you have it, please check your CCTV for the days and nights in question. If you’ve seen any groups of suspicious looking youths – for on the face of it the vandalism bears the hallmarks of disaffected teenagers – in the area, get in touch with the police.

Anyone who could offer the loan of van, or any other kind of help, please get in touch with the hospice.

And this is not to single out The Rowans – deserving though it is – for unique praise. We’d hope for the same reaction after any other attack on a worthy cause.

And after, as would be hoped, the vandal or vandals are brought to justice, let’s hope the courts find a suitable way to make recompense, in both financial and a punitive way. It would be good to see the community benefit in the wake of this most stupid of acts.