Hockey club frustrated as teenagers caught smashing windows at club

Members of the Orange Hockey Centre have been dealt another blow by young vandals who were caught smashing windows in the tower on Sunday afternoon.

ONGOING PROBLEM: The inside the tower where a door was damaged and four windows were smashed by two boys who were caught in the act on Sunday and were cautioned by police. Photo: SUPPLIED

ONGOING PROBLEM: The inside the tower where a door was damaged and four windows were smashed by two boys who were caught in the act on Sunday and were cautioned by police. Photo: SUPPLIED

It is just the latest in years of vandalism at the club, including break and enters, broken windows, holes cut in fences and rolls of turf being burnt.

Club secretary Marion Eslick attributed a lot of the damage to bored teenagers and children and said she wants to see penalties for those who are caught.

“It makes me so mad that there is no punishment at all for young offenders, and they know it and so it goes on,” she said. 

“Our sporting community have spent about $75,000 of our funds with only small council grants on a security fence and security shutters to try and combat the constant vandalism at the centre.” 

That funding included $25,000 for security shields to prevent people breaking windows and $50,000 on a security fence.

“All the security measures make no difference when the offenders are caught but allowed to get away scott free,” Mrs Eslick said.

DANGEROUS: Glass littered the playing field and will have to be vacuumed up after two boys smashed windows from inside the tower at the Orange Hockey Centre. Photo: SUPPLIED

DANGEROUS: Glass littered the playing field and will have to be vacuumed up after two boys smashed windows from inside the tower at the Orange Hockey Centre. Photo: SUPPLIED

“The council have installed one security camera that has limited range. The vandals constantly cut the fence and break the camera.”

Mrs Eslick was at the centre with her son Tim when they heard the glass breaking on Sunday and saw it landing on the hockey field.

She said two boys had broken down the door to get into the tower and were breaking the windows, her son caught one of the offenders and police were called.

At 1.40pm police attended the centre and identified two boys, a 13-year-old and a 15-year-old who admitted to smashing four windows.

Due to their age, they were dealt with by way youth cautions as part of the Young Offender’s Act. 

“Vandalism at the hockey centre is an ongoing issue which we don’t seem to be able to make any progress on,” Mrs Eslick said.

“We believe most of the vandalism is done by young offenders because of no supervision and they just run amok.”

It is estimated that the teenagers caused at least $2000 damage.

The boys gained access to the tower after breaking down a door.

The boys gained access to the tower after breaking down a door.

“We are a volunteer organisation, we don’t have any ongoing funding, it’s all money that we raise,” Mrs Eslick said.

“I thought our justice system was there to protect the community, but in my opinion is just protects the perpetrators of criminal acts and the wider community is just expected to accept this and pay for the consequences of the criminals actions,” Mrs Eslick said. 

“Most parents teach their kids that there are consequences for your actions, but I'm sure in this case we will never hear from the parents, or be offered any compensation.”