VIDEO: Security at our pavilions improved after spate of break-ins

Matt Jones, chairman of Haywards Heath Cricket Club, councillor Sandy Ellis and councillor Jonathan Ash-Edwards. Picture: MSDC
Matt Jones, chairman of Haywards Heath Cricket Club, councillor Sandy Ellis and councillor Jonathan Ash-Edwards. Picture: MSDC

Security at our pavilions in Mid Sussex has been improved after a spate of break-ins.

Mid Sussex District Council has made the improvements at St John’s Park pavilion in Burgess Hill and Clair Park pavilion in Haywards Heath after concerns were raised from sports clubs who use them.

Both pavilions have experienced a number of break-ins over the past two years, the council said.

They have been repeatedly targeted at night by vandals who have caused ‘significant damage to the inside of the buildings’.

Councillor Jonathan Ash-Edwards, MSDC cabinet member for resources and economic growth, said: “There have been 14 break ins to the Clair Park Pavilion in Haywards Heath in recent months, having a really negative impact.

“I’m pleased to have been able to work with councillor Sandy Ellis and the team at the district council to get some improved security measures installed, so the club can focus on the sport and their work with young people in the town.

“Volunteers give up their free time to organise sports and social activities for the benefit of the whole community, so it’s infuriating when mindless idiots try to destroy everything they have worked so hard to build.

“Our community leaders don’t deserve to have their hard work thrown back in their face by the actions of a few selfish criminals.

“I hope the security improvements we have made at these pavilions make the vandals think twice about causing any more trouble and help to prevent any further break-ins.”

The district council owns both buildings. They are used regularly by volunteers to provide sports and recreational activities for the community.

Stronger uPVC windows and doors have been fitted at both pavilions, the council said.

Internal security screens have also been installed behind the windows and doors that users can slide across at night to provide an added deterrent to intruders when the buildings are closed.

The new windows and doors have been constructed to Secure by Design standards, an official UK Police flagship initiative that combines the principle of ‘designing out crime’ with physical security.

Matt Jones, chairman of Haywards Heath Cricket Club, said the club was ‘absolutely delighted’ with the improvements. “We are very hopeful that these endless break-ins are finally now a thing of the past,” he said.

“And we can now fully concentrate our resources on the 170 plus children we have involved in our junior programmes and our very successful senior league sides.

“Our sincere thanks go to everyone at the district council that has made this possible, including councillors Sandy Ellis and Jonathan Ash Edwards.”