Wisbech Rugby Club aim to send strong message after vandals strike twice in eight weeks

PUBLISHED: 12:18 26 June 2020 | UPDATED: 12:18 26 June 2020

Wisbech Rugby Club are determined to send a strong message to those who caused damage to their rugby posts. Picture: FACEBOOK/WISBECH RUGBY CLUB

Wisbech Rugby Club are determined to send a strong message to those who caused damage to their rugby posts. Picture: FACEBOOK/WISBECH RUGBY CLUB

Archant

A rugby club that has been targeted by vandals for the second time in eight weeks is determined not to let this latest incident affect their plans on and off the pitch.

Work off the pitch has been getting underway with the help of volunteers and members alike. Picture: FACEBOOK/WISBECH RUGBY CLUBWork off the pitch has been getting underway with the help of volunteers and members alike. Picture: FACEBOOK/WISBECH RUGBY CLUB

Vandals caused significant damage to rugby posts at Wisbech Rugby Club’s Chapel Road ground this week, and the club is expected to pay around £500 in repair costs.

Although there are CCTV cameras around the main clubhouse, it is thought the suspects may have entered the premises through the back pitches where separate cameras lost view of the incident.

Leonard Veenendaal, chair of Wisbech Rugby Club, said: “Wisbech Rugby Club have night mode around the clubhouse, but rely on CCTV at the bottom end of the car park.

“Our finances are tight as it is. With the pandemic, around 90 per cent of income has been lost. We really have to cut corners and be very prudent about our costs. It’s a cost we really cannot afford at this point.”

Mr Veenendaal said that the club may reluctantly have to seek help from supporters, but this has not been confirmed.

He said: “We feel we cannot run every time to our members and the community when there is an incident like this. We need to find another solution.

“We will probably have to go to our supporters and ask for support if it cannot come from the club, but we’ll have a better idea of that at our meeting in July.”

Repair work is planned to take place this weekend, where the posts will be reinforced on the pitches, which are located on land owned by the National Trust.

David Dobson, secretary at Wisbech Rugby Club, believes that by responding quickly to the incident, this can send a strong message to those who may be responsible.

He said: “The best way to respond to vandalism is to repair the damage quickly so the vandals do not see any lasting damage and the satisfaction they may have that they’ve stopped us doing something.

“The worst thing for us to do is to raise the white flag and withdraw from the area.

“The aim is to provide continuity, especially for young people who are desperate for normality at the end of the summer.”

A Cambridgeshire Police spokesperson said: “We are investigating an incident of criminal damage which took place between 6pm on 23rd and 8.30am on 24th June at Wisbech Rugby Club.

“Rugby posts were pulled from the ground and thrown on the floor.

“Anyone with information is asked to call 101 quoting reference 35/41019/20 or report online at https://www.cambs.police.uk/report/Report.”


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