VANDALS who damage bus shelters in Hucknall and the rest of Nottinghamshire are in the firing line — in a bid to slash an annual repair bill of £50,000.
Notts County Council maintains 1,407 shelters across the county but is constantly having to repair them because of vandalism — and the occasional traffic accident.
Now it is calling on residents to help crack down on wanton damage.
The appeal comes after two successful prosecutions for bus-shelter vandalism, with one resulting in a full damages-claim against those responsible.
The council is hoping to curb the amount of damage so that money forked out on repairs can be spent elsewhere.
“So far this financial year, we’ve spent £25,000 on repair works because of vandalism and accidents,” said Coun Richard Jackson (Con), the county council’s Cabinet member for transport and highways.
“That’s a conservative figure, however, because we have people out there all the time doing routine cleaning work and so on. While there, they often manage to pull in minor repair work, so the true figure is probably nearer £50,000.
“When you think that a new shelter costs £2,000 to install, that’s 25 bus shelters which we could be putting in around the county to benefit local people.”
Over the last 12 months, there have been 414 reports of bus-shelter vandalism. In addition, 100 shelters were so badly affected by graffiti that parts had to be replaced.
Most of the shelters are made from Perspex, which is tougher than glass. Even so, a single cracked or broken Perspex panel costs £30 to replace.
“For the first time ever this year, we’ve had people caught in the act of vandalising shelters, so compensation has been part of their sentence,” added Coun Jackson.
“I would urge anyone witnessing a shelter being vandalised to call the police immediately.”
Anyone with information on bus-shelter vandalism can ring the police’s new non-emergency number of 101 or call the free and confidential Crimestoppers hotline on 0800 555111.