Lanarkshire charity shop’s plea after repeatedly targeted by vandals and boozers

A charity has made a desperate plea to the community after its Strathaven shop was repeatedly targeted by vandals.

Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland (CHSS) is appealing for help in dealing with the shocking vandalism at its boutique store in the town, saying the area behind the shop has become a magnet for teen boozers.

The damage means that vital funds for those suffering from chest, heart and stroke conditions are instead being diverted to essential repairs.

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Incidents include the shop locks being glued shut, a locked gate to the rear crowbarred open and left off its hinges, roof tiles dislodged by repeated jumping and the lids torn off the store’s rubbish bins.

Staff and volunteers have also had to clean up discarded empty bottles and other rubbish left behind the Waterside Street store and the detritus from its own bins, which are regularly overturned.

Lisa Scott, area manager for CHSS, told Lanarkshire Live: “We have become a target for local youths who are using the area behind the shop for hanging out and drinking.

The gate leading to the back of the shop has been pulled off its hinges

“We’ve had repeated incidents of vandalism that are costing a lot of money to put right.

“The front door was superglued shut, and we had to pay for a locksmith to get it open and then replace the lock.

“We thought that was a one-off, but unfortunately we now seem to have become a magnet for young people.

“The back gate has been burst open several times so they can get into the garden area behind the shop to drink. The gate was clearly crowbarred off its hinges last time, so this is not a spontaneous thing.

“The presence of a large group of young people drinking is intimidating to everyone, from our staff to volunteers and customers.

“It’s a very unpleasant experience. Unfortunately, we have had no real help from the police.

“We’d like to appeal to the local community to help us keep the shop and its staff safe and to report any incidents of vandalism like this to the police.”

Sergeant Scott Anderson told us: “Vandalism is a highly impactive crime for victims and businesses in our local community, we are aware of this issue and have dedicated patrols to provide preventative measures.

“If the public have any information as to the persons responsible please contact police via 101 or email us on [email protected]

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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