Another example of the mindless perpetrating the unbelievable against the defenseless.
Vandals trashed the South Street centre by breaking furniture, smashing crockery and throwing soil from plants over the floor.
They made holes in the walls, broke windows and pulled things from shelves.
I can never understand the mentality of the people who carry out these destructive attacks on people and property.
When I was a spotty faced youth I lived in the village of Westfield just north of Hastings. Back then we had less to entertain us. There was no daytime TV and only two channels in the evenings. We didn’t have computer games in fact the only “electric” games available were our train sets. If we were bored we went down the rec, played football, dug up some worms and went fishing or just went exploring either on our bikes or on foot.
I recall groups of us going out and about when I was a teenager, hanging around on street corners in Battle. At no time did we ever consider going and trashing someones home or the local community centre or any other establishment. I do distinctly remember being challenged by the owner of the local dry cleaners, standing in front of a group of us with a large golfing umbrella, asking
Are you contemplating mayhem about my premises ?
I remember there was a friendly exchange of views but it was all light-hearted. Can you imagine the reaction of some members of our modern-day youth to any form of confrontation, let alone from someone using that sort of language. Yes we might have gotten up to some mischief. OK, I admit it, we did. We might have put out a window or two in a derelict industrial building but we never attacked people’s homes or places of work.
Now that I am much older and, hopefully, wiser I still can’t understand their actions.
Apparently police have arrested three teenagers, a 13-year-old boy and two 15-year-old boys who are being questioned on suspicion of criminal damage and theft.
If these lads are found to be the perpetrators then they should be made to help repair the damage. Fines or detention is not the answer.
They should be made to stand in front of the people who make use of this centre and explain why they chose to break in and trash the place.
Finally they should be made to spend a significant amount of their free time at the centre. Working there so they get a feel for what this place is doing for their community and what their actions mean to the folks that use the centre.
Anyone with information about the break-in should call Gosport police station on 101.
You can also give information anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.