Thousands of pounds of damage caused after youths wreak havoc at Suffolk Golf Club based at All Saints Hotel in Fornham St Genevieve
Thousands of pounds worth of damage has been caused by youths who vandalised a Fornham St Genevieve golf course.
The Suffolk Golf Club, based at the All Saints Hotel in the village, has been targeted repeatedly over the last two years by young people using the footpath which runs through the grounds.
During that time they have stolen course furniture, including flags and tee markers, vandalised the green and shouted abuse at golfers.
On Sunday, a group also broke the heads off of sprinklers, which took six hours and cost £1,500 to replace, and tried to gain access to the irrigation shed.
Steve Hall, golf pro at the club, said: “Thankfully the shed is all under lock and key otherwise God knows what would happen because it’s all high voltage stuff in there.
“It’s a nightmare. Over the last two years I’d say they’ve caused an average of around £750 worth of damage every month.
“We have to repair everything immediately and it costs a lot of money and takes a lot of time.”
Steve, who has worked at the golf club for more than 20 years, said that the club has always had problems but that the situation has become much worse over the last five years.
He added that the problem is particularly bad during school holidays or in summer evenings.
“This is proper anti-social behaviour and it’s becoming almost an everyday occurrence,” said Steve.
“We even witnessed a group of them trying to rip a bridge apart.
“I haven’t got a clue why they would do it but the police said it is just boredom.
“It annoys me and makes me angry because I don’t understand how they can get home and think that was fun. I don’t understand what buzz they get out of it.”
And despite Steve and other staff members’ efforts to stop the trouble, he said the youths, whose ages are thought to range from eight to 17, always run away when confronted.
“They see a golf buggy coming and disappear so it’s impossible for us to do anything about it really,” he said.
“The police have been out a few times over the last two years but there’s only so much they can do without catching them red handed.
“You see them messing about and at that age you just wonder what’s going on and if their parents know what they’re up to.
“But it’s becoming a really big problem now and we want it to stop.
“We’ve put up with it for too long and we have decided that we will prosecute if they we get enough evidence to do so.”