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Vandals attack Norwich church community play bus and car windows

PUBLISHED: 17:54 12 February 2018 | UPDATED: 17:54 12 February 2018

Gavin Goldsmith, left, Jono Thorne, centre, and Karl Connell, members of the Alive Church, work to clear up and board up the vandalised windows on the church bus in Armes Street after they were vandalised. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Gavin Goldsmith, left, Jono Thorne, centre, and Karl Connell, members of the Alive Church, work to clear up and board up the vandalised windows on the church bus in Armes Street after they were vandalised. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2018

Vandals have caused thousands of pounds worth of damage after shattering windows of a community play bus.

One of the cars in the Armes Street and Nelson Street area which were damaged. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYOne of the cars in the Armes Street and Nelson Street area which were damaged. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

This morning’s attack on Armes Street and Nelson Street in Norwich, which also targeted cars, took place around 6.30am.

A Norfolk Police spokesman said between five and six vehicles were damaged.

Three windows of the Alive Church double-decker bus, due to revamped into a play space for children, were completely smashed in and the front windscreen was damaged.

Jono Thorne, 23, who lives on Armes Street and works for Alive Church, said the project’s planned summer launch was under threat because of the vandalism.

He said: “The people who did this should be ashamed. It was a mindless attack.

“We are going to have to find the money to make the space safe again. The first priority is making it safe.

“It is bit of a blow because we have been working very hard with the community. There had been lots of different ideas. We were about to start the building work inside.”

That work will have to be delayed because of repairs to the windows which are “massive sheets of glass”, according to Mr Thorne.

“The cost of new window panels will be hard to stomach,” he added.

The church has not worked out the full cost of repairs but it is estimated a new windscreen costs £4,000.

When finished, the bus on Armes Street will be a soft play and adventure area for primary school children to boost social skills and youngsters’ mental health.

A Nelson Street resident, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “It is not a nice thing to happen to anyone. It is a bad thing to happen to people’s cars. People are not happy about it. It is something you don’t want to wake up to.

“I have lived on Nelson Street for 28 years and that is the first time I have seen something like this.”

Green Party councillor Sandra Bögelein, who represents part of Armes Street on Norwich City Council, said described the damage as “unacceptable”.

Anyone with information should contact Norfolk Police on 101.

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