VANDALISM at the hockey centre has been an ongoing issue for many years.
While it would be heartbreaking for the dedicated volunteers to constantly find the fence cut and buildings damaged, it would be truly terrifying for them to be threatened by passers-by.
This sort of behaviour is criminal and unacceptable.
It might be tempting for people to look for a shortcut, but there is no excuse for threats of physical violence, abusive language or wilful damage.
Now the concrete path from Maxwell Avenue is finished there is no longer a need for a shortcut through the centre.
The hockey association and Orange City Council have poured much time and money into finding a solution and so far it appears to have made little difference.
At a time when Orange is looking at every avenue it can to boost the city’s economy, including the tourism industry, the last thing we need is for visitors to town for sporting events to be turned off by antisocial behaviour or vandalism.
Volunteers at the hockey centre work hard to keep the area looking its best and are passionate about their sport and facility.
Last year, there was talk of getting community leaders on board to reach out to the regular perpetrators, but it appears to have stalled.
Perhaps it’s time to get tougher.
The council’s new $6000 CCTV cameras will be a welcome addition, but let’s hope they last longer than the vandalised cameras they replace.
It is disappointing the council has to spend more and more funds on security measures such as the cameras and repairing vandalism when there are thousands of projects on the wish lists of Orange residents.
Many would be likely to directly benefit the perpetrators, such as the much-wanted new recreation facilities including improved skate parks in the city.