Golf ball attack causes thousands of pounds of damage at Sunderland community centre

Linda Procopis of the Sunderland North Family Zone, Cranleigh Road, Hylton Castle with some of the golf balls that have been used by yobs to smash windows at the centre.
Linda Procopis of the Sunderland North Family Zone, Cranleigh Road, Hylton Castle with some of the golf balls that have been used by yobs to smash windows at the centre.
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YOBS have caused thousands of pounds of damage at a popular community centre.

Vandals slammed golf balls through three large windows at Sunderland North Family Zone, in Hylton Castle.

Shards of glass littered the Cranleigh Road centre, which runs a nursery and exercise classes along with other activities.

Now organisers at the organisation, which receives no council or Government funding, have been left with a hefty repair bill.

Centre co-ordinator Linda Procopis said: “Estimates for double glazing are coming in at £7,000 to £8,000.

“The problem is we have a £2,000 excess on the insurance and the maximum they will pay out is £5,000.

“The police are trying their best, but there are procedures and that to go through.

“We found five golf balls in our garden and they also hit two cars.”

As well as fun activities, the group offers employment and volunteering opportunities for local people.

Now Linda says the cost of repair the windows could mean unemployed youngsters lose out on the chance of a job, as the centre has to re-allocate cash.

“It just wastes money and it’s mindless.

“You have some of them carrying out antisocial behaviour who will not think, and some of them young people are coming in and giving us 20 or 30 hours a week of volunteering.

“Through the summer we do all the summer fairs to raise money, but you are talking about raising £300 a time.

“They just don’t think. We are still picking glass up,”.

A spokeswoman for Northumbria Police said: “Police received a report at 10.50pm on Monday, July 4, that a window had been smashed at an address in Cranleigh Road, in Hylton Castle. Officers are carrying out enquiries.

Anyone with information is asked to call 03456 043043.

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