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Arsonists close down busy public toilets
POOLE Park’s busy public toilets are closed until further notice after arsonists struck three times in a week.
Over the course of a week, the toilets near the Kingland Road entrance were repeatedly targeted by arsonists.
Dorset Fire and Rescue Service and the police are investigating, but it is believed a toilet roll holder in a cubicle was set on fire, leading to a partition and roof tiles being seriously damaged.
The ladies’ toilet was also attacked and a toilet bowl smashed. The council will be looking at how such incidents can be prevented in the future.
Although the cost of repairing the damage has not yet been totted up, officials will be angry tax payers have to foot the bill at a time when they are trying to make savings.
David Rickards, principal officer for the Borough of Poole, said: “Public toilets are an important community facility so it is extremely disappointing that this mindless act of vandalism will mean this toilet, in a popular location, will be closed while we carry out repairs.”
Poole Town ward councillor Chris Wilson said: “It’s depressing. All we can do is say to the public: ‘Keep your eyes open’. So many people are loath to report things. I have had reports of anti-social behaviour by young people at Seldown Park and it does make you wonder if it’s all connected.”
The nearby Chestnut Nursery – which offers sheltered work opportunities to people with mental health problems – has also fallen victim to vandals in recent weeks. In August, the premises in Kingland Road was broken into, benches overturned and plants thrown around.
The nursery held a plant sale at the weekend and is holding a raffle, with the proceeds helping the charity repair the damage and improve security.