RESIDENTS of a Worthing street plagued by vandalism have called to the police for action to be taken – with one man even offering a £200 reward for the identity of the vandals.
The cries come after a string of residents’ cars were damaged in Pavilion Road by a group of youths.
One witness said she thought the youngsters, who allegedly threw traffic cones and wheelie bins across the street, were drunk.
Worthing Police confirmed they were called out to the disturbance at around 4am on Friday, November 3, but could not link any youths to the crime, despite having stopped a group of youngsters for questioning.
The police also said they had received reports of a smashed windscreen and a damaged wing mirror to two separate vehicles later on in the morning.
Residents are now calling for tighter policing in Worthing on the streets and in the town’s pubs and bars.
Tracy Schmidt, 48, had her car damaged in the recent vandalism incident. Her boyfriend, Lance Daniels, is offering the reward.
She said: “I’m furious because this will set me back hundreds of pounds. My windscreen was smashed and the bonnet has dents in it from where it looks like the vandals hit it with a traffic cone.
“I am a veterinary nurse and not on a fantastic wage, but I make sure I pay my bills and pay my way. Now this will set me back, and I’m not sure what I’ve done to deserve it. I called my insurance and they don’t cover vandalism, so will have to pay it all myself.”
Lance, 46, of Bulkington Avenue, said: “I am fuming. That’s why I am offering the reward – justice needs to be done.”
He added: “The police need to crack down on this sort of thing. Around that area is a parking permit zone, and I have a friend that has parked there without a ticket, and within 10 minutes he had had a fine. If only the police had the same sort of efficiency as the traffic wardens.”
Lance also said he believed night clubs and bars should monitor how much their punters are drinking.
“I would like to speak to the people who run these student nights with cheap deals,” he said. “They are fuelling this type of behaviour, you shouldn’t serve someone when they are blind drunk. The parents are also partly to blame. How have they brought their kids up to be people who smash up cars for fun?”
However, vandalism on Pavilion Road is not a recent development. According to small business owners and shopkeepers along the road, they have been battling the vandals for years.
Pauline Fox, chief executive for Worthing Scope, said: “We have had trouble with vandalism in the past, but fortunately we were not targeted on that night.
“We have had to cement our plant pots down at the front of the store because people were throwing them and breaking them. It happens far too frequently around here, it’s not acceptable, and something needs to be done.”
Inspector Allan Lowe from the Adur and Worthing neighbourhood policing team said: “We have been working hard to identify those who caused the damage to vehicles in Pavilion Road and local officers have been speaking with residents.
“Incidents like this are often the result of drunken behaviour on the way back from a pub or a club and we take strong action against anyone we catch committing damage or who is identified at a later stage.
“I would appeal to anyone who has any information on this particular damage in Pavilion Road to pass it to my team by ringing 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”