Community centre faces big repair bill after Christmas break-in

Chapel Break Community Centre in Bowthorpe has been targeted by burglars. Picture: Google Maps

Chapel Break Community Centre in Bowthorpe has been targeted by burglars. Picture: Google Maps - Credit: Google Maps

A community centre is reviewing its security measures and facing a hefty repair bill following a break-in.

Burglars targeted the Chapel Break Community Centre in Bowthorpe just days before Christmas, and while nothing is believed to have been taken, the suspect(s) left destruction in their wake.

The front door and two doors inside were forced open and further investigation found the shutters over the bar in the community centre had been damaged.

Cleaner David Dale was one of the first to discover the break-in, which took place between 11.30pm on Friday, December 21 and 10am on Saturday, December 22 at the centre on Harpsfield.

He said: 'We turned up on Sunday morning and saw it. The front door and two internal doors were broken and the shutters to the actual bar were ripped open.

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'We don't think anything was taken, but there could have been something behind the bar that we were not aware of so we cannot rule anything out at this stage.

'It has not affected anyone here over the holiday period. We have had a couple of parties over the period but everything has been OK.

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'I know there are some security cameras in the social club nearby but because of the way they came in you could not see them.'

Mr Dale said that, while the building was supported by Norwich City Council, it would most likely fall to the centre itself to find funds to repair the damage.

'Someone is going to have to pay. It is going to be quite a few quid to repair it,' he said.

'I think they are going to put some extra CCTV cameras in near the front door, which is an extra cost that someone is going to have to foot.

'But it is just something that happens and you have to get on with it.'

Norfolk police are keen to hear from anyone who may have witnessed any suspicious activity around the Chapel Break Community Centre between the times stated above, or who has information concerning the incident.

Anyone with information should contact PC Martin Bentley at Earlham Police Station on 101, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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