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‘Open season for vandalism’ - Tadcaster resident
Ian Wilson, of Wharfe Bank Terrace, Tadcaster, with his house and what he describes as “wasteland” alongside it and to the rear
VANDALS have been making the lives of residents a misery in a North Yorkshire town.
Tadcaster has been rocked by a spate of smashed windows and car vandalism over the past month leading to a call for greater urgency in tackling derelict areas.
Ian Wilson, of Wharfe Bank Terrace in the town, said his car had suffered £300-worth of damage alone in the past month due to youths clambering over it late at night.
Mr Wilson said he felt the number of derelict sites and empty buildings in the town was contributing to the problem, and highlighted a wasteland close to St Mary’s Church which had lain empty for years.
Mr Wilson said the area was an eyesore and was now a space where groups of youths congregated and hurled bricks through windows of nearby properties.
“It is disgusting,” he said. “It is open season for any kind of wanton vandalism.
“We call it the circle of death around here. The area has not been redeveloped for years and years – it has gone to rack and ruin. There is a lot of anger bubbling up.”
Mr Wilson called for more to be done to tackle the problem.
A North Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said: “Police have received reports of criminal damage to property in the Wharfe Bank area of Tadcaster over the past few days.
“This damage includes smashed windows and damage to a car.
“Investigations are currently ongoing into the incidents.
“This mindless behaviour is distressing for local people and will not be tolerated in our communities.”
She urged anyone with information about the incidents or who knows who is responsible to phone North Yorkshire Police on 101.
There have been previous vandalism problems in Tadcaster. In 2007 The Press reported a desperate plea from the then Mayor of Tadcaster, Coun Richard Sweeting, over problems with arson, graffitti and broken windows – leading to better lighting, improved CCTV coverage of the area and a police crackdown.
In 2001 The Press reported how 12 youngsters from the town had been publicly shamed in a new ploy by police and councillors to combat vandalism.