Two young men admit wrecking floral displays and leaving a trail of damage in Harborough
The two “very remorseful” men have apologised to Harborough in Bloom and given them £130 to pay for the damage
Two young men have told police that they wrecked floral displays and left a trail of criminal damage in Market Harborough town centre on Tuesday night.
A 19-year-old teenager and a man of 22 came forward to hand themselves in yesterday (Thursday).
The vandals turned over two huge colourful planters at the corner of The Square and St Mary’s Road – as well as tipping over four smaller tubs on St Mary’s Road.
The offenders also pushed over signs and bins while broken glass was also left strewn around late on Tuesday night and in the early hours of Wednesday.
“Officers carried out investigations and reviewed CCTV to try and identify the suspects,” Leicestershire Police said today.
“Yesterday (Thursday 24 June) a 22-year-old and a 19-year-old man contacted officers wanting to hand themselves in.
“They attended Harborough police station and admitted the offence.”
The two “very remorseful” culprits have apologised to Harborough in Bloom – whose planters were attacked – and forked out £130 to pay for the damage.
“They were very remorseful, provided letters of apology to the charity Harborough in Bloom and paid the £130 cost to repair the damage.
“A representative from Harborough in Bloom said they were delighted at the speed with which the matter had been resolved,” said police.
Insp Jim Purdie, the head of Harborough police, said: “This incident not only affected the residents and people who worked hard putting together the flower beds that were damaged, it also affected local officers.
“We work incredibly hard to keep everyone safe and took this crime personally.”
He added: “If you are thinking of committing crime or anti-social behaviour please be assured we will work quickly to identify you as we have demonstrated in recent weeks.”
This afternoon Barbara Tallis, the chair of Harborough in Bloom, told the Harborough Mail: “We are pleased that this very unfortunate incident has been dealt with and resolved so quickly.
“I understand that these two young men have written to us to apologise for their actions the other night and are paying for the damage they caused.
“We just hope that all the trouble they have given us is an aberration, a total one-off, rather than anything more serious,” said Barbara.
“I’m very surprised that there only two young men involved.
“I was sure it would have taken more people to turn over our massive planters.
“This did set us back because we hadn’t planned on having to go back out and replant our displays on Wednesday – we have quite enough to do as it is.
“The attack has been a big blow because it came less than three weeks before Market Harborough is judged in the East Midlands in Bloom competition on Monday July 12.
“But let’s just hope now that we don’t get targeted again – and that we come out on top in the contest next month.
“As for the two men who did this.
“I’d appeal to them to see the error of their ways and never to do something like this to damage our community ever again.
“We are told that they are genuinely remorseful that they have done this – and let’s hope that they are.”
Talking to the Harborough Mail on Wednesday, Barbara Tallis, the chair of Harborough in Bloom, said the incident was a “massive blow” to her hard-working group.
She said it came less than three weeks before Market Harborough is judged in the East Midlands in Bloom competition on Monday July 12.
“It is just unbelievable – it is shocking.
“Words totally fail me at a time like this.
“What do these people get out of turning over our beautiful planters and tipping them into the road?
“What goes on in their heads?
“I can’t for a second begin to understand their mentality,” said Barbara.
“Our brilliant volunteers put so much effort and so much time – as well as great expertise and pride – into setting up these enchanting displays.
“And then these criminals come along and think it’s a good idea to wreck them.
“It really does beggar belief.
“Our big blue planters are huge.
“They are a metre square and must weigh getting on for a ton.
“They are a proper forklift job they are that big,” added Barbara.
“I am appealing to the police, though, to put on extra patrols in the town centre and to give us a more visible presence.
“I’m sure this wouldn’t have happened if there had been police patrolling in the town.”
She said her indomitable volunteers went straight back out to replant the beautiful displays.
“We are not going to let these people beat us.
“We are never going to let them win,” declared Barbara.
“It’s very demoralising and disappointing coming just before the East Midlands in Bloom judging next month.
“And this comes just after we had 30 or so bedding plants stolen from our fantastic displays on The Square here.
“But we’ll just get on with it, we won’t give in.
“I’d also like to thank the council works teams for retrieving the planters out of the road and clearing up the mess.
“We’re very grateful for their efforts.”
Cllr Phil Knowles, who leads the Liberal Democrats on Harborough council, told the Mail on Wednesday: “There is only word for this type of behaviour – disgusting.
“We owe an enormous debt of gratitude to the Harborough in Bloom volunteers who do such an amazing job helping to make our town so attractive.
“This sort of outrageous attack is the last thing they deserve – and my heart goes out to them.
“I would like all our councillors to be able to sit down with our new head of police, Inspector Jim Purdie, and talk about the growing issues and problems we are facing right across Harborough.
“We have had a relentless tide of anti-social behaviour, heavy drinking, drug-taking and vandalism in our towns over the last few months and it’s simply not good enough,” said Cllr Knowles.
You can read our original story on Wednesday on the incident here: https://www.harboroughmail.co.uk/news/crime/vandals-wreck-stunning-floral-displays-and-leave-a-trail-of-damage-in-harborough-town-centre-3284133