Monday, 08 August 2022

Police ‘not doing job’ after hall vandalised

Police ‘not doing job’ after hall vandalised

THE police have been criticised for not doing their jobs after the village hall in Sonning Common was vandalised.

Philip Collings, the clerk of the parish council, is unhappy that officers would not take any further action, despite identifying the culprit using CCTV.

In the incident, on July 7, a man was caught on camera damaging litter bins and windows at the hall in Wood Lane, which will cost the council £600 to repair.

Mr Collings said: “On Monday last week Thames Valley Police sent a letter to say it was decided that an investigation brought forward by the parish council would not be taken further as there was ‘not enough evidence to bring a potential suspect to justice’.

“This was a completely fallacious conclusion. There is ample physical evidence of criminal damage to council property on windows and a litter bin — all recorded on CCTV which was handed to the police. The perpetrator, not suspect, has been identified and named to police as well as street they live on.

“We also have individual reports, corroborated by more CCTV of utmost clarity, of the individual urinating against the outside of the village hall.”

Mr Collings said the police “failing” to investigate crimes is a source of concern and described it as “scandalous”.

He has contacted Pc Barbara Taylor, a member of Henley’s neighbourhood policing team, in the hope that the incident can now be resolved locally.

Mr Collings said: “She has picked the case up and we’re now reasonably confident that the man will stop being a nuisance but we shouldn’t have to rant for something to be done.

“The previous officer rushed to the wrong conclusion because he had not got the proper information or bothered to check from people who had worked in the area.”

In 2017, Mr Collings complained that the police neglect to do their job because they “can’t be bothered” and “don’t care” following an incident where vandals stole four buggies from a golf club and then set them on fire at the village’s skate park, causing a total of about £37,000 in damage.

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