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Vandals strike at community hubs across Longridge

St Paul's Church's doors and the children's playhouse at Little People at The Limes were both targeted by vandals last week.
St Paul's Church's doors and the children's playhouse at Little People at The Limes were both targeted by vandals last week.
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Vandals targeting multiple locations in Longridge have been labelled disrespectful’, disgusting’ and mindless’ by community leaders.

St Paul’s Church in Parlick Avenue was the subject of graffiti tagging on its main side doors and garden area by vandals towards the end of last week.

Graffiti at St Paul's Church in Longridge.

Graffiti at St Paul's Church in Longridge.

Blue spray paint was used to tag the letters LBZ’ on the doors as well as what appear to be smiley faces on stonework next to the door.

A church spokesman said: “I was here on Friday and people were trying to clean the marks off the side door and stonework.

“For the last year we’ve been trying to raise money to fix the roof, we have had problems with it for a while, so it’s frustrating.”

She added: “We’re having a problem though with the paint on the doors being taken off when being pressure washed.”

The outdoor playhouse at Little People at The Limes nursery was also targeted by trespassers.

The outdoor playhouse at Little People at The Limes nursery was also targeted by trespassers.

The vandals mindless antics sparked a wave of criticism on social media.

Corinne England said: “Absolutely so disrespectful, not only doing graffiti on walls, cars, and now a church, somebody must have seen or knows who is behind this, it’s beyond ridiculous.”

Carolin Parkinson added: “Terrible, never heard of a church being defaced like that in this area before.”

Vandals have also targeted Little People at The Limes nursery in Berry Lane, destroying a £250 playhouse used in its garden. Police received a call at 11.45am on January 26 regarding reports of criminal damage.

St Paul's Church.

St Paul's Church.

Nursery manager Jane Priest said: “We’re not happy. It’s just absolutely mindless.

“I think we’re going to have to do some fund-raising. It’s a lot of money and we can’t justify spending it again.”

A spokesman from Lancashire Police said: “Around 11pm the previous evening offenders had gained entrace and climbed into the yard, smashing up a wicker playhouse costing £250.

“Anyone with any information can ring the police on 101 quoting log reference number LC-20180126-0576 of January 26.”

Leader of Ribble Valley council and coun for Dilworth ward, Coun Ken Hind, said: “We as a council are doing our bit by maintaining CCTV in the likes of Berry Lane and other parts of the town and borough.

“We have made requests to Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner to police Longridge from Preston. We are currently being policed from Colne and by the time police arrive criminals have disappeared, especially with public order offences. Police are too far away.”

Coun Hind added: “Police are retreating from rural policing towards the cities. I do not blame the police; it’s the resource allocation that is all wrong.”