Van­dals go on ram­page

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - ANGELIQUE PAT­TER­SON

UN­KNOWN of­fend­ers have dev­as­tated the com­mu­nity of Moss­man with reck­less acts of van­dal­ism at Moss­man State High School, four Front St shops and the Cairns Re­gional Coun­cil’s ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fice.

The of­fend­ers stole red paint from the high school some­time dur­ing the night on Mon­day, Jan­uary 23, and fire ex­tin­guish­ers from three Er­gon ve­hi­cles parked on Front St.

At the high school, red paint was used on ex­te­rior sur­faces, ta­bles, walls and the ground and a fire ex­tin­guisher was used to spray foam through an open lou­vre into a class­room, the in­door sports cen­tre and the air­con­di­tion­ing vent of the tuck­shop.

The of­fend­ers also broke into a room at Moss­man State Pri­mary School and stole a lap­top com­puter and con­tin­ued to throw paint on shop win­dows, the main road and on the Er­gon ve­hi­cles.

Moss­man State High School prin­ci­pal Deborah Kachel said it was a dis­ap­point­ing start to the school year af­ter no in­ci­dents over the hol­i­days.

“Just as stu­dents started, some­one wrecked things for them and they are dis­ap­pointed too,” she said.

“The mess had to be cleaned by our staff and so they have to put in ex­tra hours be­cause they can’t leave it in that state as stu­dents need to use the fa­cil­i­ties.

“The cost of the clean-up and re­pairs has to be taken out from other things we want to pro­vide the kids, it’s not right and not fair for the stu­dents.”

Ms Kachel said the of­fend­ers need to re­mem­ber the school be­longs to the whole com­mu­nity and all of the school grounds, in­clud­ing the sports cen­tre, are avail­able af­ter­hours to the com­mu­nity.

“When this sort of thing hap­pens it costs our school and com­mu­nity money and the gov­ern­ment starts to look at whether they shut school in terms of putting up big walls and that’s not we want,” she said.

“If you’re bored and don’t have any­thing to do, join a sport­ing team or vol­un­teer - the Moss­man com­mu­nity would wel­come help with projects - there’s lots of things to im­prove the com­mu­nity rather than tak­ing away from it.”

Moss­man Po­lice Se­nior Sergeant Cas­san­dra Hill said the dam­age was ex­ten­sive and the foren­sic team was called up from Cairns.

“A fire ex­tin­guisher was let go out the front of coun­cil cham­bers and we’ve lo­cated two out of three ex­tin­guish­ers, which will be foren­si­cally tested,” she said.

“It will cost a lot of money and lot of peo­ple’s lives have been dis­rupted, the shops, the schools, coun­cil and not to men­tion the po­lice.”

Po­lice are ap­peal­ing for wit­nesses and any­one with in­for­ma­tion to con­tact Moss­man po­lice on 4098 2177 or Crime Stop­pers on 1800 333 000.

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