Vandals condemned as 'Grinches trying to spoil Sunderland's Christmas' after city's festive lights damaged
Vandals have been condemned as ‘Grinches’ trying to ‘spoil Sunderland’s Christmas cheer’ after festive lighting was damaged in he city.
Christmas lights were switched on across Wearside in November to help brighten the build-up to what will be a very different festive season in the city this year.
But Sunderland’s leaders have been left dismayed after vandals attacked installations in a number of locations in the city.
Sunderland City Council said CCTV is being reviewed to find the culprits after lights in Sunniside, Washington and Houghton were damaged.
In a tweet, the council said: “It’s disheartening to see that some Grinches have been out trying to spoil the City’s Christmas cheer by vandalising some of our lovely lights in Sunniside, Washington & Houghton.
“We are reviewing our CCTV and those found responsible will definitely be on the naughty list!”
The council is asking anyone with information to report to police on 101 to help bring those responsible to justice.
A council spokesman said: “Very disappointing that several sets of the city's Christmas lights have been the targets of vandals.
“If anyone has further information do please report it so we can hold these people to account for their actions.”
Sunderland went without its traditional Christmas switch-on events this year as part of social-distancing efforts.
The switch-ons usually pull in the crowds, featuring entertainment and special guests to flip the switch on the lights.
But festivities are more muted in 2020 as Wearside continues to battle the coronavirus pandemic.
Most annual events and activities have been cancelled to help stem the spread of the coronavirus, and to meet social-distancing guidelines and regulations, particularly with Sunderland being placed under the strictest Tier 3 covid restrictions.
However, city leaders, businesses and households remain determined to show Chrismas is not cancelled, with organisations, groups, businesses and individuals all finding new ways of marking the festive season.
A drive-through carol service at the Stadium of Light, a Pokemon Go-style augmented reality festive trail in the city centre and online shows and singalongs of all descriptions are some of the events aiming to keep Sunderland’s spirits up and make the most of the festivities in the run-up to Christmas.