‘We won’t let the thugs win’ vows coun­cil leader

The Wokingham Paper - - NEWS - By JAMES HAST­INGS

DON’T let the thugs win.

That was the de­fi­ant mes­sage from the leader of Wok­ing­ham Town Coun­cil fol­low­ing a cat­a­logue of Christ­mas crime in the bor­ough.

Wok­ing­ham’s Christ­mas tree was trashed twice over the fes­tive pe­riod caus­ing thou­sands of pounds of dam­age.

Car wind­screens were smashed in Nor­reys, win­dows were bro­ken and splashed with paint and there were three late nights as­saults in the town last month alone.

How­ever, Wok­ing­ham Town Coun­cil leader Cllr Dave Davies em­pha­sised that Wok­ing­ham was a “great place to live” and vowed the van­dals would not win.

“What has hap­pened over the fes­tive sea­son has been un­usual and does not re­flect the vast ma­jor­ity of good peo­ple who live and visit here,” he said.

“Over Christ­mas we suf­fered acts of mind­less van­dal­ism to the town Christ­mas Tree, as well as smash­ing of a win­dow of the Red Lion, daub­ing of paint on Berk­shire Win­dows and many other in­ci­dents of anti-so­cial be­hav­iour.

“I am ap­palled that van­dals feel that they can per­form these aw­ful acts and do ap­peal for any­one with any in­for­ma­tion on these events to me for­wards to us or the po­lice.”

Cllr Davies said he un­der­stood many res­i­dents would be con­cerned at the re­cent crime wave.

“Fol­low­ing dis­cus­sions with Ju­lian McGhee-Sum­ner, the leader of Wok­ing­ham Bor­ough Coun­cil, we will be work­ing in the New Year to iden­tify what can and should be done as two coun­cils work­ing to­gether, in pro­vid­ing CCTV cover in the town cen­tre.

“His­tor­i­cally this was re­moved due to the costs of main­tain­ing and mon­i­tor­ing, and the qual­ity of the im­ages, but we will look at all op­tions to pro­vide value for our con­stituents and hope to be able to ex­pand on the CCTV that the Town Coun­cil cur­rently op­er­ate to pre­vent graf­fiti.

“In ad­di­tion we will be chal­leng­ing the po­lice to in­crease their pres­ence in the town as a whole and work with them to un­der­stand and ad­dress the cause of these in­ci­dents.

“More than any­thing I have been moved by the sup­port shown by the Town against these sense­less acts, and the ef­forts by pub­lic and coun­cil­lors in do­ing what can be to not let them win by fix­ing the fences and mend­ing the tree.

“De­spite this mind­less van­dal­ism it is im­por­tant to re­mem­ber that Wok­ing­ham re­mains a great place to live.

“We are still a mar­ket town, al­beit one that had grown in re­cent years in part be­cause of this ap­peal.”

And in a de­fi­ant mes­sage to the van­dals, Cllr Davies added: “As a town we are stronger than any van­dal, and we will not be bowed by this and we WILL be back next year with an even bet­ter tree.”

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