Vandals film themselves causing damage to the Ross-on-Wye Sports Centre and post the video on social media

By Catherine Barkley in Crime

The Ross-on-Wye Sports Centre at Wilton has once again been the target for vandals, but thanks to an eagle-eyed local resident, who spotted a video on social media which identified the offenders, the group at the Sports Centre Community Interest Company (CIC) are hoping the police will be able to catch the offenders.

On Monday, May 29th, after a busy Bank Holiday weekend, where many local children and adults had played football and cricket at the Sports Centre, the Ross Juniors Football Club discovered the damage, which is estimated to have taken place during Sunday night or the early hours of Monday morning.

Two football dugouts had been tipped over and wrecked, a wheelie bin was dragged onto the roof of the Sports Club, and someone climbed up on to the roof and broke the guttering. Wooden railings surrounding the car park were also smashed. PCSO Bowkett told the Ross Gazette: "We think the cost of damage will be in the region of £3000."

After the incident, the Sports Centre tweeted: “Mindless thoughtless vandalism over bank holiday weekend, why? Facilties provided for free valued by so many abused by the few.”

In April, the Ross Gazette reported that local police officers were cracking down on crime at the sports centre, after there had been a spate of anti-social crime and an attempted burglary.

Since the damage at the Sports Centre was reported online, an anonymous resident contacted a member of the Ross Juniors, to say that there was a video on social media of the vandals. They were able to name the offender in the video, who was filmed on the roof of the Sports Centre. The person filming the video, who shouts “You’re a legend,” to his friend, has also been identified, as their voice has been recognised.

If you have any further information that you think could help the police in their investigation of this incident, please call 101. The crime reference number is 290-S-290517.

After the Gazette reported the news that there had been a case of vandalism at the Sports Centre, local residents got in touch to say that on Sunday night, there were other incidents around the town.

Mr Mason, an OAP, called the Gazette and said there had been further damage from Roman Way to Tudorville. He said that his own property was damaged; four of his fence panels were smashed, and one met post had been pulled, bent and broken. He estimates this will cost him approximately £250 to repair.

On Facebook, Kieran Ravenhill, also reported a case of vandalism around Ross, that was caused on Sunday night. He commented: "On my walk home from work [on Monday] towards the Lovell Estate by Vine Tree Vets, I walked through the Sports Centre through the woods and alleys, from the bottom of Roman Way to the top, and it seems a lot more than just the Sports Centre was vandalised that night!

"Bricks have been ripped off walls and chucked onto the grass, even one household has had to put a sign up asking for information as their fence was smashed down during the night! Whether they were coming down towards the Sports Centre or from the Sports Centre upwards, I wouldn’t know! Just thought it may give a little help in sense of direction they came from!"

If you have any information about the vandalism around Ross, that you think could help the police in their investigation, please call 101.

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