Craigavon Model Car Club were left with extensive damage after vandals struck at the weekend.
Members arrived at the club at Kernan Hill on Saturday morning to find burnt tyres, broken beer bottles and cigarettes lying along the track. The vandals had also attempted to break into one of the club’s wooden huts.
Club member, Shane McCullough, described how he and Tom Patterson had arrived at the track on Saturday to run motorbike tests, when they discovered the damage.
“They burnt some of the tyres on the side of the track and tried to break into one of the huts,” Shane explained. “We’ve had vandals before. They go down behind the wooden shed or the steel pits - it seems to be starting to become a drinking venue. It’s off-road and the young ones seem to be taking advantage of it, but you wonder do the parents even know where their young ones are?”
Although dog walkers and regular users of the cycle path try to keep an eye on the area, and alert club members when they sight vandals or suspicious behaviour, Shane realises that passers by cannot be relied upon to police the area constantly. “Tom called the police on Saturday morning, but they haven’t caught anyone. It’s not very good when you’re trying to encourage children to the venue. It would be a good idea to have cameras.”
The Club posted photographs of the damage to Facebook, showing a line of burnt tyres along the edge of the track. It is not the first time that Craigavon Model Car Club have faced issues with tyres being burned, something which has been the subject of discussions held this week between Shane and his fellow members: “We need the tyres there for safety, so we can’t take them away. If a car crashes, it hits the tyres - if the tyres aren’t there, there’s a risk of the car crashing into someone’s legs. After the weekend’s events, we’ve had discussions about whether or not we could use an alternative to tyres, to ensure the track is still safe. “In light of the most recent attack, and the ongoing problem of grafitti, members feel that the Kernan area is one on which the police should start to concentrate. Their concern is that, as an increasing amount of young people are using the area for the consumption of alcohol, incidents of drug use and violence may errupt. With police cooperation and the public’s support, the club hopes to encourage young people to use the club for its true purpose.
For more info on Craigavon Model Car Club, visit www.craigavonmcc.co.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org