MINDLESS vandals who repeatedly smash windows of an Uckfield industrial unit put themselves, workers and passers by at risk, police say.
The problems started when large windows on the ground floor of unoccupied premises in Horsted Square on the Bellbrook Industrial Estate were targeted. Now wreckers have turned their attention to windows upstairs. What’s more disturbing is that it appears the damage is caused by people in a car on the by-pass aiming at windows with something like a missile hurled from a catapult.
Neighbourhood police officer PC Cathy Codling said: “This has been going on over the past few months. The owners of the units have had to put up a fence to stop the damage to the bottom windows. Now the vandalism is being targeted at the top windows.”
And she said she could not understand how someone could be stupid enough to risk taking aim and throwing stones, nuts and bolts out of the window of a moving vehicle.
James Goddard, boss of Application Engineering next door said: “The damage is to number 15. We are number 16 and we are partly protected by trees and bushes. The damage has been fixed each time after eight or nine attempts.”
PC Codling pointed out that this is extremely dangerous to anyone who may be working in the unit or outside it. The units are occupied at different points in the day so at any time someone could be hit and injured, possibly seriously – and that includes the occupants of the vehicle.
She went on: “Owners have now had to put up a fence. The damage caused, and cost of the fence and other measures which have been taken has totalled more than £2,700, with more funds needed to replace two further windows damaged in the last two weeks.”
James continued: “Due to the reckless acts of a small minority of idiots, we have had to go to great expense to replace expensive window units, install CCTV cameras, posters, and to erect a fence in order to reduce the impact that these morons have caused. However, and more importantly, we are concerned about the safety of our staff and visitors, because one day someone could be seriously hurt through the loss of an eye or worse still. To see the damage that the projectiles (stones and nuts/bolts) can cause to the structure of the building makes one shudder at the potential harm to human life.”