The Coleridge Center in Skerne Park has been the victim of property damage and burglaries (Image: Google)
A valuable community facility in Darlington has become a target for crime, with thieves even stealing the building’s security system.
Police have warned they are working to capture young people who continue to target the development of the Coleridge Center in Skerne Park.
The center offers a wide range of services to the area, but development has been marred by a spate of property damage and theft.
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A broken window at the Coleridge Center in Skerne Park (Image: Contributor)
Since August, the building and its grounds have repeatedly been vandalized and burgled.
The site has had regular problems with youth climbing rooftops and scaffolding, often causing damage, antisocial behavior and angering local residents.
Detective Sergeant James Woodcock of Darlington Police said: “It is sad that a facility set up to support the local community is being attacked in this way.
“The perception is that the perpetrators responsible are local, and I find it disappointing that anyone could damage an initiative that benefits them.
“The ASB of youths climbing onto the roof and causing damage is not only extremely dangerous for the people involved, but also impacts the timeframe in which this amazing building can fully reopen.”
The police are now asking for help to catch the perpetrators.
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DS Woodcock said: “Lines of investigation are being investigated to identify the suspects but I would like to ask residents to provide further information on those potentially involved.
“It’s a shame that a select group of individuals can ruin enjoyment for the majority of the community.
“We are working closely with the building’s owners to avoid further problems in the future.
“I understand that those identified as causing the problems will be treated appropriately and excluded from any future activity within the centre. If you abuse it, you will lose it.”
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Stephen Cheeseman, the director of facilities for the site, said Skerne Park Academy is working very hard to create a safer building for the community to enjoy.
He said: “The building will undergo a full roof refurbishment to address historical issues of a leaky roof.
“The Academy is also implementing stricter control measures to protect its children and other users of the school and the Coleridge Center.
“We want the school and the Coleridge Center to be centers of learning, enjoyment and community activities.
“Unfortunately, the recent senseless damage and continued theft of newly installed equipment is not only costly to the academy, but also upsetting to the children and staff who are interested in having the very best facilities and environments for all children to learn and learn from.” where employees are safe working to best serve our amazing community.”
To report anyone suspected to be involved, please call 101 or contact Crime Stoppers anonymously on: 0800 555 111.