Over £2,800 spent on repairs and security enhancements following Baileys Court vandalism

Photo of a small single-story leisure centre fronted by grass.
Archive image: Baileys Court Activity Centre, Bradley Stoke.

A spate of vandalism at Baileys Court Activity Centre in Bradley Stoke has resulted in the town council spending over £2,800 on repairs and additional security measures.

The issue first came to light at July’s Finance Committee meeting where councillors were told that a group of young people had been getting into the grounds of the activity centre after staff had locked up for the night.

The youths were initially seen (on CCTV recordings) to be making use of the benches and tables around the bowls green, but in late June and early July the visits changed to have a “more sinister and damaging impact” (in the words of the deputy town clerk).

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Starting with climbing onto the roof of the activity centre building, the youths initially attempted to open the roof hatch – to no avail. Following the unsuccessful attempt to gain entry into the building, they began to throw balls and other objects off the roof onto Baileys Court Road, causing passing traffic to swerve out of the way.

After this they found some spare roof tiles that had intentionally been left behind by a roofing contractor and began throwing them onto the flat roof, smashing them as they went.

On noticing the centre’s CCTV cameras, the culprits put balaclavas and snoods over their faces and one of them punched or kicked one of the cameras, changing its direction of view. A second CCTV camera was tilted to face downwards.

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On their next visit in the same week, they again gained access to the roof by stacking tables on top of each other and climbing up where again they attacked the same two CCTV cameras, this time damaging one beyond repair.

Later, the youths were recorded on another camera picking up large stones or bricks and throwing them at the roof facing the bowls green. This caused damage to around 28 roof tiles.

On the same visit, the culprits drew graffiti on benches, tables and the building itself, and damaged some white picket fencing owned by the cricket club.

Further incidents have followed and there have been threats of violence towards staff at the centre.

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Members of the Finance Committee agreed to install a length of new steel fencing in order to better deter intruders at a cost of £1,415.

Repairing the damaged CCTV camera has cost £380 and replacing the damaged roof tiles £420.

A further £529 has since been spent on installing an additional CCTV camera at the site.

The value of the broken spare roof tiles is put at £100, bringing the total expenditure/losses to £2,844.

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Police appeal

On 22nd August 2023, Avon and Somerset Police appealed for help in identifying three “teens” in connection with a “criminal damage investigation”.

They released images of three individuals, taken from CCTV footage, who they believed could “aid enquiries into an incident at the Baileys Court Activity Centre in Bradley Stoke on Thursday 13th July 2023“.

The police press release stated:

“At around 9.30pm, three people attended the centre, on Baileys Court Road, and have damaged two cameras and ripped numerous amounts of roof tiles off the roof.”

“The damage is believed to have cost the centre hundreds of pounds to repair.”

“If you recognise the three teenagers pictured or have any information about the incident which could aid our investigation, please contact 101 and quote crime reference 5223168314.”

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A later update from the police on 24th August 2023 stated:

“Following [our earlier] appeal, we have now been able to identify two of [the individuals] and they are aiding us in our enquiries.”

Editor’s note: At the time of writing, the images of the two identified individuals are no longer shown in the corresponding news article on the police website, but the image of the third individual remains.

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UPDATE added 15th December 2023.

From a report prepared ahead of a meeting of the town council’s Planning & Environment Committee scheduled for 20th December 2023:

Baileys Court Activity Centre

“As previously reported, there had been an increase in anti-social behaviour. The police investigated and found the perpetrators. Anti-social behaviour has been significantly reduced.”

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