Fury after yobs vandalise centre
Vandals have sparked outrage by smashing a popular community centre's windows.
Seven windows at the Eyres Monsell community centre, in Hillsborough Road, Leicester, were broken last week when it was closed for the Christmas period.
Deputy city mayor Rory Palmer, who is also an Eyres Monsell ward councillor, hit out at the vandals and urged them to own up to the crime.
Coun Palmer said: "It's particularly frustrating and it has generated a lot of anger in Eyres Monsell.
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"It's a mindless act of vandalism and this person or people have shown a complete disregard for the people who live on this estate.
"This is a very popular community centre. It's a hub for the people of Eyres Monsell, who attend coffee mornings, lunch clubs and adult education classes there."
The crime has been reported to Welford Road police station and is under investigation.
Coun Palmer suggested the culprits, once traced, could be ordered to carry out some form of work – known as community payback or restorative justice – to make up for what they have done.
"I hope those responsible are found or perhaps own up to what they have done," Coun Palmer said.
"Given the nature of what they've done, I think some kind of community payback would be appropriate.
"They have harmed something which is highly valued by the community and it would be good to see them told to put something back into the community, perhaps at the centre, in its grounds or elsewhere on the estate."
The windows have been replaced and none of the centre's activities were affected. The cost of the repairs is still being calculated.
Sgt Andy Partridge, who runs the estate's beat team, said: "It's disappointing somebody has done this to the community centre.
"Restorative justice is something we often use on the estate and we would be keen to deal with this incident in that way if it is appropriate."
A city council spokesman said: "All of the windows have now been repaired. The vandalism took place when the centre was closed so, fortunately, it did not affect normal business.
"The community centre is well used, especially since the housing office relocated there, so it's very disappointing that this has happened."
If you can help police, ring Pc Mandeep Morar on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.