It was not a ‘Happy New Year’ for Stuart and Zoe Robinson owners of St Anne’s Beach Huts who found that side panels were smashed in an apparent attempt to break into the Huts just hours into 2022.
Stuart has already repaired the damage to the wooden panels, which follows a run of vandalism to the hut’s windows in recent months. He says that CCTV in the area would be a big help in a bid to prevent future harm to the award-winning thirty-six beach huts.
Stuart told the Blackpool Gazette, ‘It’s certainly a disappointing start to the New Year. Clearly the vandals were trying to get into one of the huts by removing the back panels. I always knew the beach huts would get a certain amount of vandalism when I came up with idea for the business so I try not to let it upset me too much but some CCTV on the promenade would be a great deterrent. We’ve had a lot of smashed windows over the last few months. To combat this, I’ve been doing my best to drop the security shutters as soon as the huts are vacated and no longer in use. It’s not easy as we often have a few huts in use even through winter, with guests leaving at all different times of the day and night. I’ve also stocked up on replacement windows as we often have bookings the following day in the damaged huts, so repairs are needed really quickly.’
People have been quick to react to the vandalism. Heather King said. ‘Disgusting behaviour. This country must lay down some disciplinary rules and implement them. Hope they are caught and given a good thrashing.’ Pammy Highland said, ‘These people need sorting. Something has to be done about this ..there has been much anti-social behaviour just lately. We can’t have anything nice in Lytham St Anne’s.’
PSCO Damian Rowe, of St Anne’s Police, said: ‘We are increasing patrols in the area, including having as many officers out on foot in key areas at the key times. We are scanning and analysing data to find out where this anti-social behaviour is happening too. We know most of the locations, we know who the majority of the group involved are and we are addressing this with parents, schools and local youth co-ordinators as well.
He continued, ‘AFC Fylde are currently running a divert youth programme through the local community trying to assist with 11–17-year-olds through a recruitment campaign to try and address some of these issues with some of these youngsters too. The increase on foot is our main proactive engagement and we will continue targeting the key areas at key times. All local neighbourhood police team staff are aware of these issues and we are working together to target those involved. The offending and anti-social behaviour is forming part of a specific policing plan for St Anne’s. Working with community beat managers will give us a better chance to try and catch these offenders and take appropriate action. We would encourage anyone with information about the offending to call police immediately on 101. In an emergency all 999.’