Teenagers caught on CCTV give themselves up after online appeal
FOUR teenagers caught on camera breaking into a much-loved tourist attraction have turned themselves in to the police, the owner has claimed.
They were caught on CCTV at Southsea Model Village in the early hours of Friday.
And after the footage was posted on Facebook and viewed by 250,000 people, the group gave themselves up, The News was told today.
Joint owner Mark Wilson said: ‘We discovered the break-in when one of our workers found flags out of place and when myself and my brother went down we found damage to the castle.
‘We were absolutely gutted that someone would do this.’
Mark put up the footage on Facebook with a post explaining what had happened and pleading for people to come forward with information.
Through social media, Mark and his team were given four names for the teenagers.
Mark said: ‘We were given the names by a few different people and handed them over to the police.
‘They then told us yesterday that the four had turned themselves in.
‘We decided not to press criminal charges as although we thought they should have some punishment but it should not be a life-long punishment as with a criminal record.’
Mark said the four youths had offered to pay for the damage and would come and complete a day of community service at the model village.
He added: ‘They are young lads who made a really stupid and drunken mistake.
‘A couple of them were worried they would not get into university because of a record.
‘They have also said they will publicly apologise to me.’
Mark and his team thanked all those on social media who shared his appeal and offered to help repair and help to pay for the damage caused.
He said: ‘We are just trying to keep the village open.
‘We have worked so hard to get it back to how it used to be.
‘We are all very happy it has all been resolved.’
Mark said: ‘Social media was absolutely unbelievable.
‘Our post reached 340,000 people and one bit of the CCTV footage had a quarter of a million views.
He added: ‘It took us by surprise that so many people appreciate our attraction.’
Previously Mr Wilson explained how the intruders entered the premises on Friday night.
He said: ‘They came in over the front where the entrance is and got over the barbed wire somehow, and then they grabbed the flags.
‘It’s not the financial cost of it, but it’s the pain of having to repair it.
‘We could be doing other things with the time.’
Police confirmed they had looked into the incident.