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'The kids aren't that bright': Teen vandals break into asbestos-filled care home

PUBLISHED: 17:43 14 March 2019 | UPDATED: 17:43 14 March 2019

Vandals have smashed numerous windows at the former site of Shaftesbury Court Care Home, Lowestoft. Photo: James Carr.

Vandals have smashed numerous windows at the former site of Shaftesbury Court Care Home, Lowestoft. Photo: James Carr.

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Teenage vandals have been playing in an abandoned care home filled with asbestos.

Vandals have smashed numerous windows at the former site of Shaftesbury Court Care Home, Lowestoft. Photo: James Carr.Vandals have smashed numerous windows at the former site of Shaftesbury Court Care Home, Lowestoft. Photo: James Carr.

Five youngsters were spotted smashing windows at the former site of Shaftesbury Court Care Home, in Rectory Road, Lowestoft, at around 7.20pm on Monday, March 11.

After being spotted by passers-by the group quickly ran off.

Vandals have smashed numerous windows at the former site of Shaftesbury Court Care Home, Lowestoft. Photo: James Carr.Vandals have smashed numerous windows at the former site of Shaftesbury Court Care Home, Lowestoft. Photo: James Carr.

When police arrived they discovered the care home had been entered and further damage carried out inside.

Around four windows had been smashed completely – while others showed signs of damage from rocks and bricks.

Vandals have smashed numerous windows at the former site of Shaftesbury Court Care Home, Lowestoft. Photo: James Carr.Vandals have smashed numerous windows at the former site of Shaftesbury Court Care Home, Lowestoft. Photo: James Carr.

The youths had broken into the rear of the site, presumably to explore and cause further destruction.

However, they would have been unaware of the sign stuck to the care home’s front door, on the opposite side, which details the site’s proposed demolition – including the removal of existing asbestos.

Vandals have smashed numerous windows at the former site of Shaftesbury Court Care Home, Lowestoft. Photo: James Carr.Vandals have smashed numerous windows at the former site of Shaftesbury Court Care Home, Lowestoft. Photo: James Carr.

One of the passers-by, who reported the vandalism to the police, explained youths regularly cause trouble in the area.

The man, who wishes to remain anonymous, said: “The kids aren’t that bright – you can tell that by the time they did it. It was about 7pm and there were people around.

Vandals have smashed numerous windows at the former site of Shaftesbury Court Care Home, Lowestoft. Photo: James Carr.Vandals have smashed numerous windows at the former site of Shaftesbury Court Care Home, Lowestoft. Photo: James Carr.

“They climb on to of the roofs of the beach huts; they break into the beach huts.

“A lot of youngsters don’t seem to have anything better to do.”

He estimated the youths were aged between 15 and 17, and added: “I’m not surprised because nobody gets caught for it. When you are young you will do it if you think you can get away with it.

“There are no cameras down there; so no deterrent.”

Last month plans were submitted to Waveney District Council (WDC) by owners Sanctuary Housing for the demolition property - these include investigating the asbestos on site and planning its safe removal.

A spokesperson for the company said: “While we are looking at ways to further secure the building, we would strongly remind people to stay off the site as anyone entering it is putting their own safety at risk.

“We would also ask anyone with information about incidents such as criminal damage or trespassing at this site to contact local police immediately, so the individuals involved can be identified and dealt with.”

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