Studios hit by vandals who throw stones

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AN art studio has been repeatedly targeted by vandals.

The West Yorkshire Print Workshop in Huddersfield Road, Mirfield, has had windows smashed four times this year.

Centre manager Pam Lonsdale said: “We get large groups of kids hanging around outside the building and we are continually having damage done to the building.

“It’s been an ongoing problem, but it seems to be escalating.

“The police have said that they are stepping up their patrols but it doesn’t seem to be having any effect.”

To make matters worse, Mrs Lonsdale said that a laptop computer belonging to woman who rents a studio in the Print Workshop was stolen on July 14, by a man who pretended to be looking around the centre’s gallery. Another window was then broken two days later.

Mrs Lonsdale that the frequent vandalism was having a big financial impact on the Print Workshop, as it costs around £100 to replace each window.

And because the problems have put up the centre’s insurance premiums, it has had to pay for the repairs itself.

When the most recent window was smashed, a workshop occupier narrowly escaped injury.

Mrs Lonsdale said: “Someone threw a stone threw the window.

“The lady inside had just stepped outside, but if she had still been inside, she could have been hurt, because there was broken glass too.

“Our studio holders are getting so frustrated that they are going out and confronting the youths, but it’s only matter of time before someone gets hurt.

“They are trying to get one with their work and every day there is someone throwing stones at their windows.”

A police spokesman said: “We understand people’s frustrations, but must also stress that it simply isn’t possible for us to patrol an area 24 hours a day.

“We have officers in the area and they have spoken to any groups of children seen nearby and on occasion, moved them away from the Print Workshop.

“However, no witnesses have ever seen and crimes taking place and there is no CCTV in the area so we have not been able to make any arrests due to a lack of necessary evidence.”

Contact police on 0845 6060606.

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