Vandals hit school pool
Vandals jumped the fence at Whitney Street School’s swimming pool on Thursday night but weren’t content to just swim.
On Friday morning, the school’s caretaker, Clive Gapper found toilet paper in the pool and encrusted on walls, doors and the surrounding ground and urine covered the toilets.
‘‘It’s just senseless,’’ Gapper said.
New security cameras and a spotlight trained on the pool from dusk until dawn, installed just before the summer holidays, didn’t deter the ‘‘dirty beggars’’.
‘‘I can’t believe how stupid they are to do it when we have cameras,’’ Gapper said.
Gapper, who is on holiday, had come to the school to clean the mess.
He said the damage, had toilet paper been sucked into the filter, would have been very costly.
‘‘It could have really buggered up the swimming season,’’ he said.
‘‘If it had got into the filter, that would have been the season.’’
Gapper said they had had trouble a few weeks ago when teenagers threw a hoist controller, used to control the hoist which allowed disabled children to enter the pool, into the water.
He fished the controller out of the pool and dried it. There was no lasting damage.
‘‘If it was broken, our disabled kids couldn’t go swimming,’’ he said. ‘‘It’s not very fair on them.’’
Vandalism, however, wasn’t limited to the pool area.
Gapper said rubbish, empty cans and bottles of alcohol and damage to tables and school property were common forms of vandalism.
‘‘Some people just don’t care,’’ he said.
The popular pool was well attended by the school community.
Disappointed parents and community members vented their frustration and offered help on the primary school’s Facebook page.
Principal Cheryl Wadworth said it wasn’t the first time the pool had been vandalised.
‘‘It’s disappointing because we’re trying to share it with the community,’’ Wadworth said. ‘‘The caretaker spends a lot of time painting it every year.
‘‘It’s been vandalised a few times now.’’
Security footage will be reviewed by Wadworth before ‘‘taking the next step’’.
Community constable Russel Smith said police officers that dealt with the incident would decide on whether the vandalism would be considered damage.
‘‘If it has cost someone work to remove or painting and cleaning, that could be considered damage,’’ he said.
Smith said there was no ‘‘magic bullet’’ to deter vandals but having a surveillance system with clear signage was helpful.
‘‘The best surveillance is other people.
‘‘Often the type of person who damages things won’t do it if they know someone is watching them,’’ Smith said.
He said there had been a low number of reports of damage over the summer holiday.
‘‘If members of the public come across someone causing wilful damage, call the police,’’ he said.
‘‘The best and fastest way to get in contact with the police is to call 111.’’