Vista vandalism is back at church hall

Peter Hall, chairman of the Vista Hall management committee, next to the damage caused by vandals on Monday night.  Photo by Tim Wilson.
Peter Hall, chairman of the Vista Hall management committee, next to the damage caused by vandals on Monday night. Photo by Tim Wilson.
0
Have your say

At least £1,300 worth of damage has been done at St Nicolas Church Hall, known as the Vista Hall, where vandals smashed windows and the main door between 11.30pm on Sunday and 7am on Monday.

Police have stepped up patrols in the area where a three-month dispersal order was enforced last autumn to stop a spate of crimes, including a knife attack on three men last June, around The Vista, Ayscoughfee Gardens and Love Lane.

A spokesman for St Mary and St Nicolas Church, Spalding, said: “Once again, we have had significant damage at the church hall.

“Five large panes in the entrance area and two smaller panes along the side have been smashed using concrete coping stones from the Bull and Monkie site.

“Someone did hear a commotion at about 2.15am but fortunately, no events have had to be cancelled as the damage was restricted to the main entrance foyer which was sectioned off to allow the area to be cleared up and for the police to see the damage.”

Peter Hall, chairman of the Vista Hall management committee, said: “There were quite a lot of incidents last year until the police put a dispersal order in place.

“When the order ran out (on October 1 2014), we enquired as to whether the police could renew it because life got a whole lot easier when it was in place.

“Up to that point, we had a number of groups that use the hall regularly whose leaders were thinking of moving or going to move because it was intimidating for parents and children to come to the hall because of the undesirables sitting on the steps outside.

“Now, just as we were turning a corner, this act of vandalism happens and everybody’s morale slumps.

“Bookings for the hall have increased since September and we really wouldn’t want this kind of behaviour to put people off coming here.”

Police think the vandals used stones from the empty Bull and Monkie site which was cleaned up by district council workers last November as part of the Pride in South Holland campaign.

Dave Sargent, a leader of the Vista Crew youth drop-in that uses the hall every other Saturday, said: “We’re all very disappointed about the damage to the hall, especially as it was badly damaged last year.

“The police had a lot of effort in after that to stop anti-social behaviour in the area and we hoped that we’d seen the last of the vandalism.

“We hope it doesn’t put people off using the hall and would ask that if anyone has information about the damage or sees any further anti-social behaviour around The Vista to please contact the police.”