Vandals cause 'tremendous' amount of damage during Christmas attack on Outwood Memorial Hall

Vandals threw paint in the attack on Outwood Memorial Hall.
Vandals threw paint in the attack on Outwood Memorial Hall.

Vandals caused thousands of pounds of damage to Outwood Memorial Hall during a "mindless" attack over the Christmas period.

Vandals smashed windows, threw paint and destroyed Christmas decorations in the attack, which is believed to have taken place while the hall, on Victoria Street, was closed for Christmas.

The vandalism included broken windows and smashed Christmas decorations.

The vandalism included broken windows and smashed Christmas decorations.

Hundreds of pounds of property were damaged or stolen, including Hi-Fi sets, a CCTV camera and hard drive, and a wheelchair used by the Outwood Stroke Club, which helps stroke survivors.

Cabinets containing materials belonging to the groups who use the hall were also forced open, and items stolen from inside.

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Chris Welch, chairman of the Outwood Memorial Hall committee, said the damage had first been discovered by one of the groups who uses the hall.

He said: "We had a message that somebody had broken into the hall and done some vandal damage. When we came up we found it was a tremendous amount of damage - paint sprayed everywhere, decorations smashed, Christmas tree smashed on the floor.

Secure cabinets were forced open and items stolen from inside.

Secure cabinets were forced open and items stolen from inside.

“It’s not just us, but so many community clubs are going to be interrupted by this. At least 100 people will be affected, just for some mindless vandalism.

“Luckily we’ve got a good band of volunteers who came in and helped clear up.

“We're now getting the place back to normal and hope we can keep it going as long as we can and get it open for New Year."

The committee hope that repairs will be covered by insurance, but estimates the cost of the damage and theft to be in excess of £3,000.

Vandals threw paint in the attack on Outwood Memorial Hall.

Vandals threw paint in the attack on Outwood Memorial Hall.

Following the discovery of the damage, more than a dozen members of the committee gathered to help clear up, and local businessman Paul Ashton patched up the building's broken windows.

Councillor Matthew Morley, councillor for Stanley and Outwood East, said: “At the end of the day, this is a community, it’s run by volunteers. It’s not a council owned building, it’s owned by the people of Outwood.

"I just can’t believe what’s happened. After something like this happens and people from the community come out, it sort of restores your faith in humanity."

Vandals also caused damage to Newton Hall Cricket Club last week, when they smashed windows, broke doors and knocked down a wall on the cricket club grounds.

Outwood Memorial Hall, Victoria Street.

Outwood Memorial Hall, Victoria Street.

A spokesperson for West Yorkshire Police said that the vandalism at Outwood Memorial Hall was believed to have occurred between 5pm on Monday, December 24, and 11am on Thursday, December 27.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact West Yorkshire Police on 101, quoting reference number 13180646907. Information can also be given anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.