Hand sanitiser stations damaged Sunderland city centre as vandals target coronavirus safety measures

Hand sanitiser stations in Sunderland city centre have been damaged by vandals who targeted Covid-19 safety measures.

Monday, 10th August 2020, 2:25 pm

The public hand sanitiser stations in the city centre, introduced in a bid to keep shoppers and workers safe during the pandemic, have been damaged by vandals.

The vandalism which took place at some point over the weekend of August 6 and August 7, with four of the five hand sanitiser stations in Sunderland centre damaged.

Reserved seating signs on the city centre’s public seating areas have also been ripped down over the course of the weekend.

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Sunderland hand sanitiser stations have been damaged by vandals. Image by Sunderland BID.

The seating signage aimed to ensure social distancing measures were in place.

Sunderland BID has confirmed that police are aware of the vandalism and urged anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101.

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Kirsty Currie, operations manager Sunderland Business Improvement District (BID), said: “We put these measures in place to keep people safe and whoever is doing this is compromising people’s safety.”

Sunderland BID has shared images of the damage to its Covid-19 safety measures in the city centre as it urged anyone with information to contact police. Photos by Sunderland BID.

Sharing photos of the damage on its Facebook page, Sunderland BID, said: “Sunderland BID is asking anyone who has any information about the damage, which is thought to have happened over the weekend, to come forward.

"Please call Northumbria Police on 101 if you have any information or witnessed the act.

“Vandalism will not be tolerated at a time when we are working tirelessly to make Sunderland city centre a safe place for all.”

It comes after similar acts of vandalism took place in South Shields town centre, which saw hand sanitiser stations targeted so that people could drink the alcohol gel.

But Northumbria Police has confirmed that there is no indication that it the hand sanitiser stations were broken in to so the gel could be drank.

A force spokesperson said: “Shortly before 9.45pm on Saturday we received a report of damage to a hand sanitiser dispenser at the Bridges shopping centre in Sunderland.

“Inquiries into the incident are ongoing and anyone with information is asked to get in touch with officers using the Tell us Something page on our website, quoting log 1344 080820.”

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