Vandals damage Portland community bus

SHATTERED: Benjamin Scott with the vandalised Island Community Action minibus

SHATTERED: Benjamin Scott with the vandalised Island Community Action minibus

First published in News Dorset Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

VANDALS damaged a community minibus leaving vulnerable residents on Portland without transport.

Police are appealing for witnesses after the volunteer-driven bus was targeted at around 1.30am yesterday morning.

The vehicle had been parked overnight on the car park of the Tesco store in Easton when vandals smashed three of its windows.

Two people were later spotted running off in the direction of Easton.

The minibus provides a vital service to older and housebound islanders who struggle to get around.

It is run by registered charity Island Community Action which supports the Portland community.

Journeys include taking residents to hospital appointments, on shopping trips to Tesco and on social events.

Kim Wilcox, chair of Island Community Action, said the temporary loss of their only minibus is ‘really upsetting’ for both volunteers and residents.

She added: “The vandalism has not just had an impact on our equipment but on those older people who rely on it to get around.

“The loss of the service, even though a temporary loss, is very distressing for us, the volunteers and the users.

“Our volunteers work so hard for the service and this is our only minibus.”

The charity kick-started its work in 1999 thanks to Big Lottery funding and donations.

Benjamin Scott, 64, of Easton, volunteers his time to drive the community minibus.

He said: “It is so sad.

“It is insured and can get mended but that is not the point.

“It is a community bus for all people and ages to use, it is not just for disabled people or old people.

“I don’t believe it is just mindless vandalism, everybody has a brain. This has had a huge impact on us and I hope whoever did this can realise this.

“Maybe one day whoever did this will realise how important the service is if one of their family members need to ring us.”

A spokesman for Tesco in Easton said they would be helping Dorset Police with their enquiries and would work with them to target wider issues of anti-social behaviour in the area.

Anyone with information or heard anything suspicious around that time should ring Dorset Police on 101.

Comments (2)

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1:50pm Thu 6 Sep 12

snowleopard says...

Mindless idiots! One day, if they live long enough, they will be the generation needing this type of support.

Maybe Southwest Coaches would allow the minibus to be parked in their compound on Portland to reduce the chances of this happening again?
Mindless idiots! One day, if they live long enough, they will be the generation needing this type of support. Maybe Southwest Coaches would allow the minibus to be parked in their compound on Portland to reduce the chances of this happening again? snowleopard
  • Score: 0

5:06pm Fri 7 Sep 12

PORTLAND ROVER says...

Again, the true people of Portland have offered their help, and have pulled together to offer help to ICA. We are truly lucky to have a majority of wonderful people of the Isle, who will NOT be detered by mindless numpties who clearly show no signs of humanity... So...they got their 3 seconds of a thrill for smashing some glass.... How clever are you? Pratts! why don't you do something positive, and actually volunteer to do something for the Isle as opposed to the wanton destruction of it... Nuff said!
Again, the true people of Portland have offered their help, and have pulled together to offer help to ICA. We are truly lucky to have a majority of wonderful people of the Isle, who will NOT be detered by mindless numpties who clearly show no signs of humanity... So...they got their 3 seconds of a thrill for smashing some glass.... How clever are you? Pratts! why don't you do something positive, and actually volunteer to do something for the Isle as opposed to the wanton destruction of it... Nuff said! PORTLAND ROVER
  • Score: 0

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