Councils offer reward after vandals smash two bus shelters

PUBLISHED: 09:21 02 July 2009 | UPDATED: 07:16 30 May 2010

TWO parish councils have clubbed together to offer a £200 cash reward for information after two bus shelters were vandalised - less than 12 hours after being installed. Thugs smashed four glass panels, two in each of the shelters in Station Road, Little D

TWO parish councils have clubbed together to offer a £200 cash reward for information after two bus shelters were vandalised - less than 12 hours after being installed.

Thugs smashed four glass panels, two in each of the shelters in Station Road, Little Dunmow last Thursday. The incident happened sometime between 9pm and 10.30pm.

The two shelters - which are around 60 yards but separately fall into the parishes of Little Dunmow and Flitch Green - were erected just hours before.

Clerk for both parish councils, Angela Balcombe, said: "For one reason or another, it took almost four years to get the shelters. We have waited so long for them, and for them to go up and in a matter of hours get vandalised is very disappointing.

"A lot of people are extremely upset by it."

Little Dunmow and Flitch Green parish councils are offering a reward of £100 to entice people forward with information.

"Both councils are prepared to put money up for a reward to get information leading up to a conviction - that is the strength of feeling over the matter." said Mrs Balcombe. "The councils are prepared to do whatever it takes to prevent it from happening again.

"We are working closely with the local Neighbourhood Watch Group and the police on any anti-social behaviour issues."

Essex County Council, which installed the shelters at a cost of £4368 each, is now picking up the £640 cost of the damage.

A spokesman said the council was "extremely disappointed" about the incident.

He added: "The shelters are designed to provide improved facilities for the local community, and were supported by the local parish councils, so it is very sad to see something like this happen."

The incident has also outraged residents. Neighbourhood watch co-ordinator Sally Brown said: "I've received so many e-mails and calls. The community has really pulled together - everyone wants to find those responsible. We don't want to tolerate this sort of behaviour."

Essex Police officers are investigating the matter and neighbourhood apecialist officer, PC Rachel Saunders, is in full support of the council's offer of a reward.

She said: "It's very disappointing that these shelters were damaged by mindless vandals on the very day that they were installed.

"We fully support the parish councils and it shows the community working together - anything in which a community can help themselves is fantastic."

Anyone with information regarding the incident is urged to contact PC Saunders at Dunmow police station on 0300 3334444, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

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