Teens with airguns vandalise village
By Martin Paul - Senior Reporter
POLICE officers are concerned about a spate of vandalism and anti-social behaviour in Staindrop over the school holidays.
Teenagers with air rifles are believed to be behind some of the vandalism and there has been pellets fired into security lights and the village playground.
There are also unconfirmed reports that cars in the village have been damaged by gun shots.
In the latest incident someone is believed to have used an airgun to take shots at two security lights on the village's new Scout hut, in Stangarth Lane. Damage has also been done to the newly-opened play park in the recent past and complaints were made about fireworks being let off near the public toilets.
The damage to the loos and the playground were discussed by the village’s parish council last month.
PC David Williamson said tops had been pulled off some of the play equipment and thrown into a field.
He added: “The more concerning one is the air weapon used on the Scout hut. It is disappointing for them to damage a hut that is used by the community, as it is with the play park which is used by the community.”
Explorer leader for Staindrop Scouts Andy Carr discovered the damage on Saturday, August 25, but believes the vandalism took place between Monday, August 20, and Wednesday, August 22, when two young people between 15 and 17 years old were seen walking along Stangarth Lane with air rifles.
Stangarth Lane runs alongside the Scarth Memorial Hall up to the Scout hut and playground.
Mr Carr said: “Over the past month or so there has been a lot of damage around the village. I know it was an air rifle because I found pellets in the lights. They also shot into the playground. If there had been anyone in there they could have been hurt.”
Shots were also fired into the bumpers of vehicles around the village, Mr Carr said.
He added that the Scouts were now asking permission from the Staindrop Parish Council to install additional CCTV cameras around the hut. PC Williamson said he had been unable to confirm that vehicles had been damaged and asked people to report any damage they might have had. Mr Carr said the teenagers were seen climbing into a white vehicle after the incident at the Scout hut.
Anyone who knows who may be behind the vandalism or has more information about the incident is urged to contact PC Williamson at Barnard Castle Police on 101.