Charity minibuses wrecked in ‘mindless’ vandalism

Local garage worker Gary tapes up one of the damaged cars. Picture: Malcolm McCurrach
Local garage worker Gary tapes up one of the damaged cars. Picture: Malcolm McCurrach
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Charity buses, a classic car and vehicles parked outside a sheltered housing complex were targeted in an early-morning wrecking spree.

The culprits vaulted over secure gates to get into the yard of the New Trinity Day Service and smashed the windows of four minibuses used to take vulnerable disabled people to appointments and community activities.

Teen vandals are suspected of being behind the attacks in Loaning Road, Craigentinny.

The gang also smashed the windows of at least six cars further down the street.

The incident, which happened at around 6am yesterday, was described as “mindless” by frustrated residents.

Capability Scotland – which provides a variety of services for people with physical, sensory and learning difficulties – said it was “concerned and disappointed” by the damage.

However, a spokeswoman insisted that the services were not hit by major disruption, as taxis were put on to replace the buses.

Gary Hensman’s 35-year-old Datsun 150Y classic car – one of only three in Britain – was also among those targeted at nearby Restalrig Road South.

The 49-year-old said he believes that the vandals used an automatic centre punch to cause the damage.

Mr Hensman said: “A couple of weeks ago there was another car done round the corner. We work hard for our cars. The holes in the windows looks like they had a centre punch. My window is still in one piece but there’s a hole in it. It’s just mindless vandalism.”

Mr Hensman also helped to tape up the windows of a Ford car in Loaning Road to protect it from being damaged by rain.

Small shards of glass were scattered along the pavement yesterday while residents spoke of their disgust at the incident.

A black cab parked on the same street had also been vandalised on Thursday night.

Another local, who asked not to be named, said: “It’s absolutely ridiculous, they have got a licence to do whatever they want. It’s stupidity.

“My mother’s got Alzheimers, she was scared when the police were at the door. It keeps you back all day. I need to go to work but I have got to wait till they come to sort the windows out. These stupid, silly imbeciles know that it is all OAPs around here, yet they do that to their property.”

Several residents claimed that a young girl was seen smashing some of the windows before a group ran away down a lane beside Craigentinny Primary.

They said there had been ongoing concerns about antisocial behaviour with teens in the area, and there were previous incidents involving youngsters jumping on the stone walls around the sheltered housing.

A Police Scotland spokesman said: “Inquiries are ongoing to trace those responsible for incidents and anyone who can assist officers with their investigation is asked to contact police immediately.”

A spokeswoman for Capability Scotland said that staff were liaising with police, adding: “We are concerned and disappointed regarding the ongoing vandalism in the area.”