Police and councillors tackle '˜mindless vandalism' of bridge
Efforts have been stepped up to protect the Adur Ferry Bridge in Shoreham from vandalism.
Vandals have damaged 19 glass panels since the bridge opened.
And in two separate incidents in the past two weeks, red and blue paint and graffiti was daubed over glass panels, the deck and central posts.
The bridge already has CCTV cameras capable of recording evidence trained upon it. Now further actions are being considered to tackle anti-social behaviour there.
West Sussex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, John O’Brien, said: “The Adur Ferry Bridge is an iconic structure in Shoreham.
“We invested £8m to replace the old structure at a time of austerity. The people of Shoreham have embraced it and are proud of it. It is such a shame there are vandals out there who want to ruin it.”
Mr O’Brien added that there was a ‘myth going around’ that damage to the glass panels are being caused by technical faults.
“This is not true – the damage is happening because of mindless vandalism. If the glass panels are left unharmed they will last the bridge’s lifetime.”
West Sussex County Council met with Sussex Police, Shoreham and East Worthing MP Tim Loughton, Adur and West Sussex councillors and the local community last week to discuss how to deal with issues affecting the bridge.
‘Smile You’re On CCTV’ signs will be added to the glass panels, reminding users the bridge is under surveillance from Sussex Police. Improvements to CCTV coverage and signs instructing people to report damage to the police are being considered.
Sussex Police Sergeant Steve Turner said: “We are aware of the ongoing issues regarding criminal damage and graffiti on the Adur Ferry Bridge, which we are taking very seriously.
“We have increased neighbourhood patrols in the area and are working with our partner agencies to combat the problem.
“I would ask members of the community to report any further incidents or suspicious behaviour seen on the bridge on 101 or online via sussex.police.uk.”
Adur’s District Councillor for Marine Ward, Joss Loader, said: “The bridge is a much-valued community asset and the blame lies with the vandals.
“We need people to act as the eyes and ears of the community and to report what they know.”