Things that go bang in the night: Vandals blow up parking meters in Lewes

The sleepy town of Lewes, Sussex, has been subjected to a spot of mindless vandalism. Yobs and 'youths' have been blowing up parking meters, causing in excess of £20,000 worth of damage.

Lewes, famed for its annual fireworks night displays, has been rocked by similar acts before. In 2004, when on-street parking charges were first introduced to ease congestion, vandals began destroying the machines. Over a two-year period they targeted 200 of them at a cost of £300,000.
However, the vandals' actions only caused the council to up parking fees. Though you never know, the DVLA might be after a slice.

Now the vandals have returned and have caused some considerable damage already. One machine has been completely destroyed while others have been reparably damaged. Oddly, no money has been taken from the machines – this is simply destruction for destruction's sake. Or a novel way to get out of paying for parking.

The fresh spate of attacks started on September 16th and the most recent was on November 21st. The police are offering £1,250 to anyone who can help identify the perps.

Chief Inspector Natalie Moloney, Lewes' top cop, commented: "Someone knows who is doing this and it is important that they help us put a stop to it now before someone gets seriously injured."

A spokesman from the council warned that the wanton destruction could have dire consequences, saying that "repairs will cost at least £20,000, which means we are £20,000 further away from being able to put any surplus from the scheme toward transport improvements in the town."

It is frankly incredible that no one has been hurt while blowing up the machines – especially if you follow the mantra that 'criminals are stupid'. Dim crim + gunpowder can't really end well, can it?

If you know anything about the loveable rogues responsible, do call Sussex Police on 101 or give Crimestoppers a tinkle on 0800 555 111.
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