Charity Christmas lights in Bury St Edmunds targeted by ‘scumbags’

Christmas lights displays across the Moreton Hall estate were targeted overnight on Saturday PICTURE: Mecha Morton
Christmas lights displays across the Moreton Hall estate were targeted overnight on Saturday PICTURE: Mecha Morton

‘Scumbags’ who targeted Christmas lights across the Moreton Hall estate are being sought by police.

Householders woke on Sunday morning to discover their displays damaged and items stolen, with a family of artificial penguins, inflatable Father Christmas and laser lights taken in three raids, while wires were cut in others.

At least nine homes were hit overnight, with instances in Kembold Close, Sycamore Drive, Turnstone Drive, Beale Close, Kendall Close, Mortimer Road and Raedwald Drive.

Sophie Banham, whose family’s Kembold Close home puts on a big display every year, said items were stolen and wires cut by two perpetrators believed to have been caught on CCTV.

“Obviously, everybody’s very upset and to see it like that on Sunday morning was devastating,” she said.

“But I think we have an incredible community in Bury. Without their voices and support spurring us on and creating a social media storm I don’t think we would have had such an impact.”

Councillor Peter Thompson said: “They targeted the Kembold switch-on, where every year houses raise funds for charity with their amazing lights – what scumbags would do this?

“This type of incident is an indication of other things that are going on, with various anti-social behaviour, such as the boy racers and smashed glass.”

Cllr Thompson said the estate used to have its own PCSO, however that officer now also covered an area extending to Ixworth.

“We have been abandoned by the Safer Neighbourhood Team,” he said, adding that Bury St Edmunds Town Council had allocated funding for two extra PCSOs but one post was still vacant.

Cllr Frank Warby said: “It seems they went out to do the most damage that they could. They went around the whole estate. But what can we do? It’s just pure vandalism.”

Sergeant Anna Whybro urged anyone with information to contact Suffolk Police on 101.

“These acts of mindless vandalism and theft are unacceptable and it is anti-social behaviour that causes annoyance and distress in the community,” she said.

– The Kembold Close lights switch-on is tomorrow at 6pm, with donations to St Nicholas Hospice Care.