Vandals rip down rugby club fence

ASHFIELD Rugby Club chiefs are considering tightening up security at their ground after vandals caused thousands of pounds of damage to new fencing.

The green mesh fence put up around the club’s ground on Penny Emma Way, near Sutton, has had five panels ripped down and three badly damaged during an attack that was discovered on Thursday.

The fence was only put up after travellers set up camp on the land during the summer and was also supposed to stop the rugby pitches being damaged by nuisance motorbikes and halt problems with dog fouling.

It had already been damaged once before, when two panels were removed with bolt cutters and this latest incident is another blow for the club.

Brian Dobb, youth development officer, said: “It’s soul-destroying for everyone involved.

“We are getting to the point where we just dare not go down because we don’t know what to expect next.

“It’s private land not a public park and as a club we cannot afford to continue replacing these fence panels on a regular basis.”

Brian said that the vandals have also tried to break into the changing cabins on the ground - even though nothing is stored inside them.

The club is now looking into installing extra security features - such as 24-hour surveillance cameras - in order to prevent any future incidents or even catch the culprits in the act.

One theory club members have is that the people responsible are angry at no longer being able to use the fields as they could before the fence was erected.

“This sort of mindless vandalism is ridiculous,” said Brian.

“It’s just mindless acts by someone who is hell bent that they want what they want and damn those that own it.”

Ashfield Rugby Club has more than 200 junior members and runs three men’s teams and female teams, so its pitches are used every weekend and need to be kept in a ‘safe and suitable’ condition to play on.

A Nottinghamshire Police spokesman confirmed that officers had received a report of damage being caused to the rugby club’s fencing and said that investigations into the incident were continuing.