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Vandals run amok on high street

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By Christie Breen
Annan and Eskdale
Vandals run amok on high street

CHURCH elders and business owners up and down Annan are disgusted after being targeted by vandals this week.

Stones and yoghurts were thrown at the windows of the Old Parish Church, the Annandale Observer, Snack Box, Farm Direct, Forever Art and the Ex Serviceman’s Club overnight on Sunday to Monday, breaking some.

A car parked outside the Original Factory Shop was also covered in yogurt.

CCTV footage captured some of it happening at 4 am, while another witness heard noises at 5 am.

The worst hit was Annan Old Parish Church, where 16 window panes were broken at the back of the building.

It is the fifth time in 18 months that the church has been vandalised and church elders are furious. Session clerk Esther Bicket led the tidy up operation on Monday afternoon and said: “It’s really sad to see the damage, we try to provide the community with a safe space and it’s a small minority that are behaving like this.

“If they want to come to church they can come through the door on a Sunday and leave the windows be.”

Church elder Fiona Kerr added:

“This is the worst it’s ever been and it’s frustrating that we have to put up with this.

“The police have taken a statement and we’ve asked them to look at the CCTV footage from the pub next door but we don’t think there is much they can do.”

Rev Dave Whiteman has been left incredulous at yet more damage and said: “This is in fact the fifth time we have had vandalism at the church in recent times.

“I believe that an attack on a church is an act of sacrilege. Why do we have to put up with this?”

‘Disgusted’… Church Elders Fiona Kerr and Esther Bicket

At the bottom of the High Street, the Farm Direct shop had yoghurt thrown at its windows and a nearby car was also splattered.

That vandalism was caught on the CCTV cameras from ‘Our Place’ across the street. After seeing the footage, Emma Back, of Farm Direct, said: “It’s disgusting, how can people behave like that? It looks like it was done by teenagers and if that’s the case, where are the parents? I hope they catch the kids that did it.”

The CCTV has been passed on the police in hopes of identifying the vandals.

Commenting on the incident, Inspector Duncan Cameron said: “On Monday, 22 August, 2022, police received a number of reports of vandalism in the Annan area which officers believe may be linked.

“The Annan Community Policing Team are following a positive line of enquiry and I would like to reassure the community that this type of behaviour will not be tolerated.”

Anyone with information is urged to contact police on 101 or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Smashed… first floor window at the Annandale Observer