'We want to work with them' says community team boss after Sunderland cycle hub is trashed by yobs

A team who work with young people to keep them on the straight and narrow wants to work with the vandals who tore apart its cycle hub.

By Fiona Thompson
Monday, 08 July, 2019, 17:28
The aftermath of the attack on Sunderland Community Action Group's cycle hub at St Peter's Gate.

Sunderland Community Action Group (Scag) was with a group of 16 to 18-year-olds from Hendon ready to teach them how to ride a bike safely when they arrived to their base in St Peter’s Gate to find the container had been trashed.

The group is facing a bill of around £500 for repairs but have said while they are angry and disappointed, the group hopes those responsible can be tracked down so it can work with them and steer them away from causing trouble in the future.

Wood from the side of the building was torn down by vandals.

In addition to its base at St Peter’s and its work in Hendon, the organisation also works with children at Southmoor Academy, Dame Dorothy Primary in the city.

Richy Duggan, youth coordinator for Scag, said: “We didn’t recognise any of them and we do a lot of work with kids in Hendon and other areas, so we don’t know who it was.

“We’ve been working with a group from Hendon to get them cycling from the hub and it’s really to get the kids away from antisocial behaviour.

“We’ve come down to show people how to ride safely and then they’ve seen another group of young people smash the centre to bits, it’s just not nice, especially when we’re trying to help people and others come along and take it away.

Sunderland Community Action Group works with young people in the city to teach them new skills and diverts them away from antisocial behaviour.

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“We’re trying to do a good job in the community and we’d just seen a post by Cycling UK, a national organisation, after we delivered a session that morning and then later that afternoon we come back and this has happened.

“It’s sickening.

“Whoever it is, I would like to do some work with them so that they know better.”

The incident, which happened on Saturday, July 6, at around 5pm, is under investigation by Northumbria Police.

A spokesperson for Northumbria Police said: “We can confirm we are investigating damage to a cycle hub at the University of Sunderland.

“The damage is believed to have been caused between 5pm and 6.15pm on Saturday evening.

“Inquiries into the incident is ongoing and anyone with information about those responsible should contact officers on 101 quoting log 958 06/07/19.”