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The little train in Kingsbridge has been hit by vandalism twice in two days, but the perpetrators have been identified and have vowed to pay for the damage.
The Kingsbridge and District Light Railway, which operates the little train that runs up and down the Embankment in Kingsbridge, next to the estuary, was the victim of vandalism at some point after midnight on Thursday, 3 June. Then, the next day, at 11.06pm they came back again, this time as a group of six or more.
Steve Mammatt, the KDLR owner took to social media to share "very low res versions of our high res CCTV" and the perpetrators were swiftly identified.
Steve said: "The two individuals have been identified, the mother of one of them was especially mortified that her son was involved. Both have made contact with me and have been very apologetic and have offered to pay for the repairs. One of them has offered to do some voluntary work for us too."
The two men, who are both over the age 18 and "pissed up on the way home from the pub" were seen on CCTV shoulder barging the fence repeatedly, which eventually gave in and broke. Steve said that it could have ended very badly "if a shard of wood had splintered and ended up in their neck they would have been in real trouble". While he said that one of the individuals lived in Kingsbridge and the other in Thurlestone, he declined to name them, mainly for their own safety after seeing the anger of members of the public that had seen the damage done to the community project.
Steve added: "They have agreed to pay for the damages and do some voluntary work and I'm happy with that, but I'm not happy with the police! I rang 101 on Friday and was given lots of options on the recorded message, but none of them were 'report a crime'. I gave up eventually because I had better things to do, but when it happened again that night I called 101 again in the morning and this time got three options, one of which was to speak to an operator and I reported the incident.
"But since then I have had no contact until 1pm on Monday when I got a text asking to send any CCTV images I had and if I didn't they would close the case. When I sent them I then received an email saying the officer was out of the office until Monday, 10 June. Which is in two days time and isn't a Monday.
"The local community isn't being supported by the police at the moment, maybe because of the G7, but I just wanted an officer to go and visit them in uniform and warn them how close they got to getting a criminal record, and therefore not being able to get certain jobs or travel to certain places."
Steve is now on the look out for a local carpenter to repair the damaged fence. You can contact Steve through the Kingsbridge and District Light Railway Facebook page HERE.
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