'Mindless' yobs damage Glastonbury community hall during break-in
Yobs who broke into a community hall, damaged doors, stole youth club equipment and ransacked food cupboards have been branded “mindless”.
Users of the St Edmund’s Community Hall in Glastonbury discovered the burglary on Friday morning.
“This isn’t just about what they stole, or the damage they did to the building,” said Nick Cottle, chairman of the St Edmund’s Community Hall management committee, and a member of the town council.
“The people who did this hurt the entire community.”
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The hall was built by the residents of Windmill Hill, one of the most deprived and isolated areas of the town.
It is an important part of life on the estate and is used by the 50+ Club, the town youth club, the young carers group and the community café Cham Together and Yammer.
The cost of the break-in and the items stolen is still being calculated, but it is believed that it will be less than the hall’s insurance excess, meaning the management committee and the people who use the hall will have to pay for the repairs themselves.
“These are social groups for people who might not be able to get down into town for whatever reason,” said Mr Cottle.
“The community hall is the hub of our community – it is used by every section of society, from the kids who go to the youth club, to the people who attend the 50+ club.
“I know there have been problems on the estate over the years, but people have always realised how important the hall is and they have always treated it with respect.”
The items stolen belonged to the youth club, who are already struggling with a 75 per cent cut to their local government funding.
“Now resources that could have been put towards the young people of Glastonbury will have to be spent replacing what was stolen from the youngsters there,” he said.
“It just makes me so upset. These people have stolen from all of the residents of St Edmund’s Ward, and they should be ashamed.
“When something like this happens, it is the residents that pay the price.
“We have to clear up the mess, we have to fund the repairs and buy replacement equipment, and then the insurance premium will probably be pushed up and we’ll have to pay out again.”
Police investigating the break-in say they are hopeful of finding those responsible, after finding a fingerprint and a shoe print at the scene.
They are appealing for information about the crime, which happened between 7am last Thursday and 7am on Friday.
You can contact Street Police Station on 101, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.
You do not have to give your name, and you may get a reward.