A CHILDREN’S football centre has been targeted for a second time by malicious vandals.
The Russell Foster Football Centre, at Stadon Way, Newbottle, has come under attack twice in a matter of days.
The problems began when club secretary Mick Clark opened the centre earlier this month after the summer break.
He discovered all of the locks on the property had been glued shut.
Mick, from Hastings Hill, said: “We found that all the locks had been sabotaged including the locks on the field.
“We had to drill the locks off the building.”
The following Saturday there was another issue for the club to deal with.
Mick had set out cones and ropes in the car park and on the fields in preparation for the following day, but when he arrived at the centre in the morning, the equipment had been stolen.
The league gives children under eight the chance to take part in a football league.
The centre had come under criticism from residents for the amount of cars that were parked in the area.
But Mick said the car situation is now under control.
He said: “There seems to be a determination from a group of people to prevent these children from playing football.
“We have not been up here long. We had some problems before with the community, but we have been open for 12 months now and we have worked hard to solve the problems with the number of cars coming to the centre.
“I’m quite proud that we conquered the problem and we have none parking in the estate now.”
Acting Sergeant David Kershaw, who covers the area, said: “On September 1, police were informed that locks had been damaged at the Russell Foster Football Centre in Newbottle and we were informed on the morning of September 8, that a number of items had been stolen overnight.
“Officers are carrying out enquiries in the incidents in order to trace those responsible.
“We aware of the concerns the centre has and are working closely with staff to address these and will continue to do so.
“If anyone has any information about these incidents or who is responsible we’d urge them to contact us.”
Anyone with any information should contact Northumbria Police on 101 ex 69191 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.