‘Horrific’ garden vandalism saddens Plymouth charity

By George ThorpeBBC News, South West

‘Horrific’ garden vandalism saddens Plymouth charityPark Pharmacy Trust Vandalised itemsPark Pharmacy Trust

The Park Pharmacy Trust said a number of items were vandalised from its garden

A charity says it was distraught after vandals trashed parts of its garden in Plymouth.

Educational charity Park Pharmacy Trust said severe damage had been caused to items following a spate of incidents at Thorn Park Lodge in Thorn Park.

The charity added it was also disappointed with Devon and Cornwall Police’s response after it was reported to them in March, believing firmer action should have been taken.

A police spokesperson said the force conducted an “appropriate and proportionate” investigation and four teenagers had been given official anti-behaviour warnings.

‘Torn to pieces’

Dr Jan Knight, the trust’s chair, said the garden was open seven days a week as a place for people to come and relax amongst medicinal plants.

She said the incidents, which she claimed first happened at Christmas and carried on for a few months, left pieces of garden furniture including chairs broken.

Dr Knight said the ordeal has been “pretty horrific” to deal with.

“All the work we’ve done has just been torn to pieces,” she said.

‘Horrific’ garden vandalism saddens Plymouth charityDr Jan Knight

Park Pharmacy Trust chair Dr Jan Knight said the vandalism has been “pretty horrific”

Dr Knight also said the charity was unhappy with the police response.

She said the charity wanted to speak to the teens and their parents to discuss the impact of the damage that has been caused, but this has not been able to happen.

She added investigating officers had told the trust the case was closed, but the charity felt police could have done more, especially around speaking to the alleged offenders.

Dr Knight said: “We feel this is criminal damage and they seem to have ignored that.”

‘Horrific’ garden vandalism saddens Plymouth charityThorn Park Lodge

Thorn Park Lodge’s garden is open seven days a week in Plymouth

In a statement, police said it carried out an investigation after the vandalism was reported to officers on 18 March.

It said the investigation was “appropriate and proportionate” and led to four teenagers being given anti-social behaviour warnings.

The statement said officers engaged with the victim throughout and adopted an approach in line with its “child-centred policing approach”.

“This aims to stop juveniles reoffending by utilising measures to stop anti-social behaviour escalation,” the statement said.