Sport in Newport may be cancelled after copper burglary

THE immediate future of sport at Newport Recreation Ground is in jeopardy after burglars caused thousands of pounds worth of damage by smashing up buildings and ripping out copper piping in a double raid.

Members of Newport Sports Committee were left dismayed on Tuesday after attending the scene with police to find that the sports pavilion – which is home to the village’s football and cricket clubs – and the croquet club clubhouse had been ransacked.

The scout and youth club premises which also occupy the Frambury Lane site were unaffected.

The suspects had wrenched opened doors and cut padlocks to get into the two premises before ripping out copper water cylinders and piping.

Extensive water and flood damage – some �4,000 – was caused to the sports pavilion and the equipment stored in there.

Now fears have been raised that, without adequate showering facilities, Newport Football Club, could be forced to cancel its home games.

After inspecting the damage, sports committee chairman Mike Hannant said: “We will have to consider cancelling all sports activities at the Recreation Ground until such time as the insurance claim for the sports pavilion is resolved and the water supply can be restored.

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“It is the football teams that will be particularly affected but we will do all we can to minimise the impact.”

Some �2,000 damage was also caused to the croquet club’s clubhouse, with kitchen units ripped from the walls during the search for copper.

In a joint statement Mr Hannant and John Sibson, vice-chairman of the croquet club, expressed their dismay that the clubs that use the site should become innocent victims of what is becoming an increasingly common crime.

“We unfortunately have a very exposed site here and have earlier been victims of local vandalism, but this is completely different,” they said.

“Although the thieves have caused a lot of damage we estimate that they could not have got away with much more than a couple of hundred pounds worth of copper.”

? DO you have any information about the burglaries? Call Saffron Walden police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.