Counting the cost of vandalism

THE challenges facing UK businesses are numerous and with 70,000 high street jobs being lost this year the strain does does not appear to be easing anytime soon. A further unexpected cost due to mindless vandalism has also been particularly heart-breaking for one local shop owner.

Pilgrim & Treloar, an electrical contractor and retailer at Wendron Street in Helston, recently had its window smashed late one night and with repairs only being partially covered by insurance, it is a costly incident for the owner.

Window breakages have occurred frequently in our town centre over the years and are often caused by people under the influence of alcohol.

Many years ago I attempted to apprehend a group of louts after they smashed three windows at Meneage Street. After a short scuffle where I attempted to stop further damage taking place, I was the one threatened with prosecution by the police.

Unfortunately, in many cases the punishment is not stiff enough to act as a deterrent which leaves us relying on basic common sense and decency of people to know boundaries.

Yet in the meantime, Pilgrim & Treloar must bear the brunt and pay the cost themselves unless the perpetrator or someone who knows their identity wishes to give their name to authorities?

In this instance, the crime has an extra upsetting element as the business is also the owner’s home and the sound of smashing glass in the early hours caused alarm and fear.

Criminal damage causes harm which can leave emotional repercussions long after the glass has been replaced.

Meanwhile one mile away….

Another act of vandalism occurred in Helston last week when damage was caused to the newly planted roundabout outside the rugby club.

The roundabout has become a feature on the approach to Helston with plants kindly donated by Trevena Cross Nurseries and last Thursday morning it was discovered that several had been stolen or damaged.

Helston mayor John Martin expressed sadness that this should happen after the hours of work put in to create something which thousands of people have enjoyed over the beautiful summer; adding that it would cost more than £250 to rectify.

That some plants were left nearby suggests it could have been another act of sheer vandalism.

We are quick to criticise any perceived lack of effort to maintain our town by the council, but when they do something postive, there is often an element who has to destroy it. Again, I hope that anyone knowing the vandals identity will be willing to share it with the authorities.

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