HQ burglary forces scouts to move out

PUBLISHED: 10:00 03 October 2016


Burglars have forced Budleigh Salterton's scouts into a temporary home after trashing the group's hut.

The latest burglary caused ‘so much damage,’ scout leader Alan Lowe said the group had no option than to move to the Venture Hall, Budleigh.

The 1st Budleigh Salterton Scout Group’s headquarters, at Halse Hill, has fallen victim to burglars and vandals over the years.

Mr Lowe’s wish to permanently relocate the scout hut has been dashed because of financial reasons.

The latest burglary resulted in thousands of pounds worth of damage.

Mr Lowe said: “It is just a real shame and depressing.

“They broke the door’s hinges off with an iron bar and they pulled a lot of the equipment out and chucked it all over the place.

“We do not meet there at the moment because they have caused so much damage.

“We had thought about moving venues, but we can’t afford to pay the rent.”

The burglary, which left a £500 tent ruined and a lot of smaller equipment unusable, is not the first Mr Lowe has had to deal with.

He said: “We have had a lot of problems. I am not talking about four or five break-ins, I am talking about dozens.

“Years ago it was fine, then they started smashing windows and it escalated. We have lost thousands of pounds of equipment over the years.

“We think it is older children who have done it this time, but we have had so many break-ins and damage caused, it takes us a long time to repair and get it back together.”

He added: “All I ask for is that if people see anything suspicious happening in our grounds to let us know so we can talk to the police.”

The police are appealing for information. Contact 101, quoting crime reference number 060153/16.

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