Charity attacked by tyre-slash vandal

a SWANWICK charity has been targeted by a ‘dangerous’ tyre-slashing vandal.

The tyres of two Valley CIDS vans, used for collecting donations of clothing and furniture, have been slashed at two different locations this month.

The first incident, during the night on December 4, saw the vandal scale a 7ft-high metal fence and gain access to a compound behind the Lighthouse shop, on Main Road in Jacksdale, where the inside rear tyres of a Mercedes Sprinter van and a Ford Transit van were slashed.

Valley CIDS business manager Peter Hallam said: “The inside rear tyre of one van and the rear tyre of the other were slashed. There was a chance you could have gotten in and driven away without noticing. It’s absolutely dangerous.”

The vans were relocated to “private grounds well off the main road” in Swanwick where a vandal, believed to be the same one, struck again, overnight on December 14, and three tyres on the Ford Transit were slashed. Mr Hallam said: “Someone has obviously tracked them down. Like all people with premises you get an occasional random act of violence - but never anything consistent. This seems like a personal attack.

“We’re known in the community for supplying a valued service. It’s a bit of shock to us.”

Around £600 of damage has been caused by the attacks as well as disruption to the service.

“They’re busy vans. They have got a schedule each day collecting large-sized donations like furniture, and then delivering them once they’ve been sold,” Mr Hallam added. “People have been let down.”

Staff are at a loss to explain the persecution, which they believe was planned carefully as a security light at the Jacksdale compound was smashed two days before the first attack. Funds raised from the charity’s 16 Lighthouse shops in Amber Valley are used to support three children’s workers who visit over 65 local schools to provide support through school assemblies, religious education lessons, lunchtime and after-school clubs. The charity also supports two Blend Youth Projects, based in Ripley and Heanor, which are committed to raising aspirations and releasing potential of local young people by providing a range of activities and support.

If you have any information about these attaacks, contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.