It took some considerable effort and pestering to have the public toilets in St Mildred's Bay re-painted in June. Yesterday morning, they were covered in graffiti and this morning, it looks as if the vandals had a return visit overnight. The adjacent beach huts now carry a similar line of 'tags'. It's a depressing sight.
One lady, walking her dog, told me that the shelter opposite Barnes avenue in Westbrook has been badly damaged too. She commented that one night recently, she could hear the noise from her home and called the police. Around ten youths were involved. A single police officer, she said, turned-up, had a word and left. The noise stopped for a while and then, a little later, resumed. By morning, the shelter was completely wrecked, she said.
Westbrook is outside my ward but the car park, the Sunken Gardens and the clifftop shelter are known problem areas and difficult to police at night. As a result, they act as a magnet for the anti-social elements that blight our community. It's not uncommon to see groups of teenagers making their way from as far afield as the Garlinge area, across the railway line at Bridge road and then along towards Barnes avenue as dusk falls.
I've no idea what the solution is or even if one exists. Possibly not!