Fire and vandalism at Budleigh Salterton FC prompt police arson investigation

PUBLISHED: 15:33 08 June 2020 | UPDATED: 15:33 08 June 2020

Damage done to the seats in the stand at Budleigh Salterton Football Club. Picture: Keith Wood

Damage done to the seats in the stand at Budleigh Salterton Football Club. Picture: Keith Wood

Archant

‘Mindless’ vandals have targeted seating at Budleigh Salterton Football Club in an incident which police are treating as arson.

Damage done to the seats in the stand at Budleigh Salterton Football Club. Picture: Keith WoodDamage done to the seats in the stand at Budleigh Salterton Football Club. Picture: Keith Wood

On Friday (June 5) afternoon the club in Greenway Lane was broken into and some of the seats were damaged with six broken off their moorings in the stand.

The incident comes as a blow to the club which has had deal with the football season being curtailed due to the coronavirus.

Devon and Cornwall Police officers are investigating a fire at the football club and are treating it as arson.

Club secretary Keith Wood said: “This is the second time that the grandstand has been targeted in the last month...this act comprised of breaking six seats clean off their mountings.

“This is the kind of act that the club has never had before and, after the last three months’ lack of income, is the last expenditure that the club could do with.”

As a result of the coronavirus lockdown, many grassroots clubs like Budleigh are fighting a daily battle to survive, with football cancelled but rent, utilities and general maintenance still needing to be paid for. Mr Wood said Budleigh Salterton Football Club is no different but incidents like this make it harder to survive this ‘tough’ period.

He added: “With the storm seemingly survived and the ground looking immaculate ready to welcome back the players, the emergency landing site for the town reactivated and the hope that the government will lift some of the hospitality restrictions.

“Imagine the horror of finding that the grandstand seating had been vandalised by what can only be described as a bunch of mindless individuals, with very little regard to private property.”

Devon and Cornwall Police would like to speak to anyone who may have information which could help their investigation.

A police spokesman said: “Police are treating a fire which occurred at Budleigh Salterton FC during the afternoon on Friday 5 June, destroying several chairs, as arson.”

Anyone with information should contact police on 101or by emailing 101@dc.police.uk quoting CR/044906/20.


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