Trou­ble with van­dals in Vic­to­ria

Prob­lems per­sist with acts of mis­chief around recre­ation prop­erty

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BYANDREWROBINSON ed­i­tor@cb­n­com­pass.ca

The Vic­to­ria Recre­ation Com­mis­sion is proud of the projects it has taken on to help the town in re­cent years. One thing they’re cer­tainly less than pleased about is the acts of peo­ple van­dal­iz­ing prop­erty around the ball field and neigh­bour­ing recre­ation cen­tre. The group’s chair­woman is ask­ing par­ents in the com­mu­nity to talk with their kids about what’s hap­pen­ing.

They’ve tried again and again to put a stop to all the mon­key business go­ing on around the ball field and neigh­bour­ing recre­ation cen­tre in Vic­to­ria.

But when the skies turn dark, that’s when the trou­ble starts. This supremely an­noys mem­bers of the Vic­to­ria Recre­ation Com­mis­sion.

“We’re not sure what’s go­ing on, but we’re just try­ing to get the mes­sage out for par­ents to speak to their kids, be­cause I’m not say­ing it’s one par­tic­u­lar group or not,” com­mis­sion chair­woman Holly Par­sons told The Com­pass. “There has been a lot of teenagers hang­ing out there.”

Three times they had to re­place the lock bolt on a makeshift gate for the E.R. Clarke Memo­rial Ball Field. Spin­dles have been de­lib­er­ately re­moved from the wheel­chair ramp.

A vol­un­teer re­turn­ing some bats fol­low­ing a re­cent tour­na­ment found beer bot­tle glass all over the front steps of the cen­tre, with chunks taken out of the build­ing’s sid­ing. A sign no­ti­fy­ing users that no bikes are al­lowed in the area was stolen.

“It looked like some­one was throw­ing rocks at (the build­ing), maybe,” said Par­sons.

The gate was added to curb drug use at the field. Acts of van­dal­ism be­came a more com­mon cause for con­cern af­ter it was set up.

“We have done some ma­jor ren­o­va­tions over the past five or six years, and it’s very frus­trat­ing when your ef­forts are … cer­tainly not ap­pre­ci­ated and some­one is coun­ter­act­ing what you are do­ing,” said Par­sons. “We’ve put a lot of time into it.”

The area in ques­tion is some­what hid­den from gen­eral view.

“The area that it’s in is kind of hid­den, be­cause it’s down be­hind all the houses and there isn’t much light­ing,” said Par­sons. “So it re­ally is a prime place for mis­chief.”

The com­mis­sion ac­tively works to im­prove what Vic­to­ria can of­fer it’s res­i­dents when it comes to recre­ation, with the town coun­cil of­fer­ing plenty of sup­port as needed.

“We’ve had a lot of gov­ern­ment grants, and it’s frus­trat­ing when ev­ery­one’s not on the same page.”

A me­tal gate will be in­stalled in front of the park, with other re­pairs to come as time per­mits.

“We can’t keep tak­ing from our town work­ers to do lit­tle things like this,” said Par­sons. “It’s re­ally not nec­es­sary.”

We’re not sure what’s go­ing on, but we’re just try­ing to get the mes­sage out for par­ents to speak to their kids, be­cause I’m not say­ing it’s one par­tic­u­lar group or not.

Holly Par­sons

Above: Rock may have been thrown at the side of the recre­ation cen­tre in Vic­to­ria.

Left: Van­dals re­cently knocked out spin­dles on this wheel­chair ramp.

SUB­MIT­TED PHO­TOS

Locks for the gate at the ball field in Vic­to­ria have been van­dal­ized three times in the last lit­tle while.

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