Anger as Pavilion vandal goes free...

By Jon Walker   |   Senior reporter   |
Friday 21st January 2022 11:52 am
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PETERSFIELD Town Council is to write to the Hampshire Police and Crime Commissioner after learning a vandal is being let off completely – and has refused to apologise for the damage he caused.

The teenager was interviewed by police after CCTV footage clearly revealed him damaging the Avenue Pavilion in June last year.

Now Petersfield mayor Phil Shaw is to write to commissioner Donna Jones expressing the council’s deep concern that the Hampshire Youth Offending team of social workers, the police and probation officers have said no action should be taken.

Council halls committee chairman John ‘JC’ Chrissy said: “I am very disappointed. My hope was that within the restorative justice process some sanction would have been imposed, and some recompense ordered to be paid.

“But that hasn’t happened, and the mayor will now be writing to the commissioner asking for an explanation and expressing our unhappiness at this outcome. What is the point if we don’t even get an apology?”

The lack of action began with the Crown Prosecution Service, which told the council further action wouldn’t be in “the public interest.”

This was despite the vandalism having an effect on council funds.

Cllr Chrissy said: “Our insurance paid for the damage, but the premiums will go up – and that will be taxpayers’ money.”

It is understood the vandal’s family say they can’t afford to contribute to any repairs.

It is also understood the teenager has refused to write an apology to the council.

The council was told any such apology had to be written voluntarily, and the offender had refused.

Earlier vandalism led to the council spending around £35,000 in 2019 on CCTV cameras at the Avenue Pavilion and other council sites.

This was so vandals could be identified, prosecuted and, hopefully, ordered to pay for the damage by the courts.

The proposal was backed by the police, but councillors now fear it appears to have been a waste of time and money as the first vandal caught has been let off scot-free.

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