Vandals ‘run riot’ in park and break into cafe

PUBLISHED: 09:00 18 August 2012

John Horler who runs the cafe.

John Horler who runs the cafe.

Archant

WESTON’S Grove Park is being targeted by vandals who are ‘running riot’ and daubing graffiti on walls, using Jill’s Garden as a drinking den and breaking into its café.

The park, a favourite spot among visitors to the town and residents alike, has seen an increase in crimes over the past few months.

The most high-profile has been a break-in at the Grove Park Café, which caused up to £3,500 of damage.

And youths have also covered the café, the bandstand and Grove Lodge with graffiti.

John Horler, who runs the café, said the café was targeted on the evening of July 27.

He said: “They smashed through my window, got in and stole lots of products.

“They made a whole lot of mess and caused about £3,500 of damage in all.

“I lost a lot of business because of it. It has affected the staff; they now ask me ‘what’s going to happen tonight when we leave the café?’”

As well as the break-in he says nearby Jill’s Garden, planted in the memory of former BBC newsreader and Mercury journalist Jill Dando, has been used as a ‘drinking den’ by youths.

And although Mr Horler, who has run a café in the park for the past 10 years, has removed the graffiti from his own establishment, it still remains on the bandstand in the centre of the park.

He continued: “The problem is there is no ranger service at night, the park is left right open so people can do what they like there.

“They should clamp down on the kids early, they shouldn’t let them run riot.”

A police spokesman said three men had been arrested and bailed following the incident on July 27.


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