Vandals ‘must be defeated’ as historic promenade wall is targeted in Lowestoft
PUBLISHED: 12:00 17 February 2015
“We all need to work together to protect Lowestoft and its history from these mindless vandals, otherwise we will never defeat them.”
That is the warning from a council contractor after it was revealed there is not yet enough money to fix thousands of pounds worth of damage to a wall on the town’s picturesque seafront - because it has been repeatedly hit by vandals month after month.
The wall on the Upper Esplanade, Lowestoft was due to be repaired in October last year after £18,000 of damage was caused by vandalism in over the course of one weekend in July 2014, leaving huge gaps in the wall.
However Waveney District Council says sporadic vandalism throughout the autumn and winter - the latest causing another £1,000 of damage - means the cost has “escalated dramatically”, adding: “This means that currently, it is not possible to repair the balustrade wall.
“Once financially possible, it is planned to repair the wall using vandal-resistant materials which will also improve views of the beach.It is unlikely that the concrete sections will be replaced as this will be both expensive and potentially subject to further vandalism.”
Safety barriers have been installed in the meantime - but WDC contractors Waveney Norse have warned that the key now is to prevent vandalism from happening in the future.
“Along with the police, Waveney Norse and Waveney District Council are doing all we can to prevent vandalism however we need support from the community,” a Waveney Norse spokesman said.
“Vandalism on this scale would cause noise and attract attention so it is essential that people report anything suspicious to the police.
“We all need to work together to protect Lowestoft and its history from these mindless vandals, otherwise we will never defeat them.
“Reactively repairing vandalism damage costs thousands of pounds. Instead, we want to spend that money proactively planning and improving the area and raising the profile of Lowestoft.”
One of those to raise concerns was José De Oliveira, 46, who works as a scientist at Cefas Laboratory in Pakefield.
“I had noticed some damage in December but when I returned in January, I was astounded to see how much more damage there was,” he said.
“After every weekend there are sections that are gone, so I decided to phone the council. There instances where there were gaps in the wall which is a safety concern.
“I have no idea who is doing it but to see the results of what is happening is depressing for the area as it is lovely on a beautiful day,” Mr De Oliveira said.
A Suffolk Police spokesman confirmed it is investigating a recent incident of criminal damage on the Upper Esplanade, which happened shortly after midnight on Saturday, January 17 and 1pm on Monday, January 19.
In that incident a stretch of fencing was broken, causing approximately £1,000 of damage.
Anyone with information relating to the vandalism should call Lowestoft Police on 101.
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