FORDINGBRIDGE Town Council has been forced to fork out more than £2,000 to step up security after break-ins at the recreation ground site.

Work is being carried out at the pavilion to refurbish the changing room facilities. An extraordinary meeting was held by the town council on Friday to discuss security measures.

The cost of security was £7,670 with contributions of £5,000 from the contractors working on the site and the sports clubs meaning the amount needed from the council was £2,670.

Councillor Nobby Goldsmith said “boots on the ground” were needed as part of security. He added: “If you see someone walking around with a torch it might deter them.”

Councillor Malcolm Adams said security guards and CCTV were both needed, but agreed with Cllr Goldsmith in the short term, adding troublemakers would have gone by the time help arrived without guards.

Councillor Diane Paton proposed the council go ahead with spending the £2,670 on security and said it would be “foolish” not to. This was unanimously supported. The council also agreed to investigate a CCTV system and other security options like alarms.

Mayor, Councillor Edward Hale, said: “We need to buy a system that can be expanded if we buy more cameras in the future.”

Cllr Goldsmith said it would be a “good investment”.

Speaking after the meeting Cllr Hale said he was “frustrated” by the break-ins, adding: “This is a project to improve facilities for the many groups who use this building and the town council has devoted lots of time to finding the best solution there. Instead of being able to concentrate on spending the limited funds on the best facilities, the council has had to allocate additional funds to pay for security.

“The value of the items taken is fairly small but the break-ins cause huge disruption to the work. Luckily, the Rugby Club and the contractor have helped with some costs, but council funds are being spent on security instead of directly on other items to benefit our residents.”

Hampshire Constabulary said it received a report of tools being stolen from a container at the recreation ground between 5pm on January 25 and 8am the next day.

The council said the second incident happened between January 29 and 31.

Security staff will be now be patrolling the site at the Recreation Ground.


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