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Mum forced to shield her daughter as teenagers ride BMXs down community centre corridor

PUBLISHED: 16:46 25 April 2018 | UPDATED: 16:46 25 April 2018

Four teenagers rode their bikes through the Charles Burrell Centre in Thetford. They have permanently damaged the carpets. Picture: Charles Burrell Centre

Four teenagers rode their bikes through the Charles Burrell Centre in Thetford. They have permanently damaged the carpets. Picture: Charles Burrell Centre

Archant

A mother had to shield her daughter to stop her being hit as a group of teenagers rode their BMX bikes through a community building.

The Charles Burrell Centre at Thetford. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe Charles Burrell Centre at Thetford. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Children and their parents were coming to and from dance classes as the four youngsters rode their bikes through the narrow hallways of the Charles Burrell Centre in Thetford.

The incident happened at around 6.30pm on Friday, April 20, and involved male teenagers believed to be aged between 14 and 16.

Despite several hundreds of pounds spent on a professional carpet cleaner, tyre marks from the two BMXs and two mountain bikes have caused permanent damage.

Centre manager Mark Snowdon said: “They were flying down the corridor and a mum came out of a ballet class with her young daughter and she had to shield her.”

Four teenagers rode their bikes through the Charles Burrell Centre in Thetford. They have permanently damaged the carpets. Picture: Charles Burrell CentreFour teenagers rode their bikes through the Charles Burrell Centre in Thetford. They have permanently damaged the carpets. Picture: Charles Burrell Centre

He added that he is frustrated over what has happened because the centre has been trying to work with young people to provide a place to hang out with their friends.

“It is a shame because we are more than willing to engage with young people and provide activities for them,” he said.

“It is quite frustrating as we have tried a few approaches to get them to come in, play pool sit in the cafe if they behave themselves. They seem to target people who are trying to help them.”

He added: “We are happy if young people want to come forward and say: ‘we are bored and we would like this to be done’ then we would try and accommodate that.”

The Charles Burrell Centre manager Mark Snowdon. Picture: Ian BurtThe Charles Burrell Centre manager Mark Snowdon. Picture: Ian Burt

The charitable organisation is a hub for community groups, organisations and businesses.

Some of its tenants include the Thetford Toy Library, West Suffolk College and the Thetford Foodbank.

As a charitable organisation with a limited budget, the team have been fundraising to pay for refurbishment works on several areas of the 60-year-old former high school building. This includes renovating the old library to create more office space.

But the incident has meant money has had to be spent on other areas taking it away from where it is needed.

The police have been informed.

Anyone who has any information is asked to contact the Charles Burrell Centre on 01842 779867.

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