Thieves target recreation centre in Neston
A CHILDREN'S holiday club was thrown into chaos after thieves targeted a Wirral sports centre.
Neston Recreational Centre on Raby Road was being used as a venue for the club during the half-term break.
But on Tuesday night or the early hours of Wednesday morning thieves smashed their way in, damaging vending machines, furniture and walls in an attempt to snatch the safe.
After discovering the damage, leisure staff from Brio, who run the facility on behalf of Cheshire West & Chester Council, worked tirelessly to try to find somewhere else for the children to go and the holiday club went ahead with “minimum disruption”.
But councillor Stuart Parker, executive member for culture and recreation, said the thieves had shown a “blatant disregard” for others.
He said: “I would like to thank Brio Leisure staff from the centre for their fantastic efforts to ensure that services and their users were not unduly affected by this despicable and destructive attack .
“Very little cash is left on the site overnight, making this kind of burglary absolutely pointless.
“A large proportion of customers pay by direct debit meaning cash handling is kept to a minimum across Brio Leisure sites.
“It’s very much business as usual at the centre, with minimum disruption.”
Cheshire Police has launched an investigation and officers, joined by the council and Brio Leisure, are appealing for local residents to help them catch those responsible.
The latest burglary is thought to have happened between 10.30pm on February 14 and the following morning.
Cheshire Police have stepped up patrols in the area.
A spokeswoman for Cheshire West and Chester Council described the damage to the reception area of the centre as “significant”.
It is understood the burglars broke in through the sports hall's rear doors and attacked the reception area in a failed bid to get to the safe.
Following the burglary, Brio leisure staff found a new location and the children's holiday club was quickly moved to Neston Civic Hall.
Anyone with information about the burglary should call 101.