The Lyndhurst FOOTBALL club’s facilities could be closed to the public unless the repeated vandalism is stopped, a frustrated groundsman has warned.
Shelters were damaged, goal nets cut and a clubhouse rear window shattered in the latest of several attacks on Coles Mead’s recreation ground near Wellands Road last Monday.
Jason West, who is also the village club secretary and manager of the first adult team, lashed out at the vandals, telling A&T the problem is getting worse and appears to be a monthly occurrence.
“It clears your head,” he said. “I’m trying to make people comfortable using the facilities but they just get damaged.
“It’s going to get to the point where we just have to leave things locked up and they can’t play there anymore.”
Previous incidents have included picnic benches being set on fire and a security camera in the junior section being destroyed.
Lyndhurst Council said the latest damage was £1,000.
Although normal post-season games were unaffected, a benefit game featuring Saints players is scheduled to take place on June 17.
But Mr West said he had to fix the shelters for the event to help the village’s New Forest Small School, community center and the Southampton Foundation.
“Right now we’re in a stable position with funding, but if you start gorging yourself on something stupid like that and then you need the funds for something else, you don’t have them,” he added.
Parish council leader Cllr Chris Willsher said he was working with police to identify those responsible for the “unnecessary” vandalism.
“The destruction of property, much of which has been donated by the public, is very disturbing,” Cllr Willsher told A&T.
“Police officers will increase targeted patrols in the area, but we also urge parents to speak to their children and report antisocial behavior if they experience or observe it so we can work in partnership to identify and address those responsible.” avoid similar problems.
“These are isolated events and must not overshadow the enjoyment of the various users of the leisure facility.”
Anyone with information should contact Hampshire Police on number 101 and quote crime reference number 44220205482 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.