Thieves steal from memorial

Damage to the donation boxes after last year's theft
Damage to the donation boxes after last year's theft
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Donation boxes at the Spitfire war memorial in Fairhaven Lake have been broken into for a second time in the space of a year.

Opportunist thieves have taken advantage of broken lighting at Fairhaven Lake to smash their way into the charity boxes for the sake of a few pennies.

Fortunately, the donation boxes are emptied on a regular basis – but the damage caused means repair costs reach upwards of £200.

The Lytham St Annes Spitfire Team is now urging Fylde Council to ensure lighting is fully functional and that CCTV focuses on the memorial, rather than the skate park.

John Coombes, chairman of the Lytham St Annes Spitfire Team said: “It was around this time last year that thieves last broke into the boxes.

“If it keeps happening then we face the possibility of the memorial no longer remaining at Fairhaven Lake.

“Without the donation boxes then the whole memorial programme is under threat.”

Mr Coombes emphasised the difficulties the Spitfire team faces regarding maintaining the memorial.

He said: “We have to pay for the upkeep, maintenance and insurance ourselves and the £200 we need to pay for repairs could have been used for this.

“We have even offered to pay for enhanced lighting around the site ourselves but that was thrown out by a planning committee.

“The council would not take the programme on financially, but they need to protect the site with better lighting or a solution that helps us keep it safe.”

Mr Coombes added: “These thieves are breaking into the boxes for the sake of pennies but the damage they cause costs hundreds of pounds.

“To lose the memorial would not only be a loss for us but I feel it would be a detriment to the lake itself.”

Mr Coombes has also asked the public to play their part and report anyone that is acting suspicious in the area.

He said: “I would also like to ask the public to keep an eye out whenever they are driving past or walking their dogs in the area.

“If they spot anyone acting suspicious then I urge them to ring the police straight away.”

A spokesman for Fylde Council said he was unaware of the issues raised regarding lighting and CCTV.

He added: “We share the concerns of the Spitfire team and urge members of the public to watch out for any vandals.

“We do appreciate the efforts of all the volunteers in bringing such an appealing feature to the area and are willing to discuss the matter and the issues raised with Mr Coombes any time.”