Vandals ‘set fire to’ public toilets in Lancing

Damage to the inside of the toilets. Photo: Adur District Council
Damage to the inside of the toilets. Photo: Adur District Council

The toilets at a recreation ground in Lancing have been closed to the public after being ‘set fire to’.

The toilets in Monks Recreation Ground, which are owned and managed by Adur District Council, suffered the damage on the evening of Wednesday, September 12.

Damage to the inside of the toilets. Photo: Adur District Council

Damage to the inside of the toilets. Photo: Adur District Council

A maintenance surveyor from Adur District Council wrote on the council’s blog: “The perpetrators of this crime took their time emptying the tissue dispensers in all the cubicles and the bins to build a mound a set fire to them in the gents toilets.

“The toilets were completely gutted and all the electric fittings are now a molten mess on the floor.

“This has left the site unusable to genuine users and all the doors have been sealed shut to protect innocent children from getting hurt.

“This arson attack is the worst I’ve ever had to deal with (luckily) and we are in the process of dealing with insurers as to the future of this site.”

The toilets in Monks Recreation Ground. Photo: Adur District Council

The toilets in Monks Recreation Ground. Photo: Adur District Council

Lancing Parish councillor Geoff Patmore said the toilets were ‘metal coated and pretty secure’ and said the perpetrators ‘were determined to get in and hell bent on destroying the public toilet’.

But he said he believed that damage to a security fence around the toilets could have made access easier.

“The security fencing around the around the toilets has, for over a month now, had a great hole cut in it and removed,” he said.

“We have been on to Adur District Council to repair it but they didn’t repair the hole, which made access easier.”

Mr Patmore added that he feared the vandalism could mean the toilets would not be reopened by the council.

“This would be appalling because the play area is well used. They are essential,” he said.

A spokesman at Adur District Council said the fencing had been cut and repaired many times throughout the year.

“When the vandalism happened the site was closed and the gates padlocked,” the spokesman said.

“In order to gain entry the padlocks and chains were all cut by the vandals.”

The council said it did not yet have a date for the reopening of the toilet block.

Police confirmed a report was received on Monday, September 17, of vandalism of the toilet block on the evening of Wednesday, September 12.

Anyone who witnessed the incident or who has any information about it is asked to report online at https://sussex.police.uk/appealresponse or call 101 quoting serial 45 of 18/09.

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