Man arrested in hunt for vandals

Chair Pat Tate and manager, Barbara Nettleton with damage caused by yobs at Sunshine House Community Hub
Chair Pat Tate and manager, Barbara Nettleton with damage caused by yobs at Sunshine House Community Hub

DETECTIVES investigating criminal damage at a flagship Wigan community centre have made an arrest.

Officers dealing with the case were keen to speak to two youths caught on CCTV cameras entering and then leaving the grounds of Sunshine House in Scholes last month.

CCTV from the day of the vandalism

CCTV from the day of the vandalism

An outside area of the centre had been trashed with equipment damaged and paint strewn over hand-painted murals.

A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said a 16-year-old has been arrested and bailed until next month pending further enquiries.

Centre manager Barbara Nettleton has extended her thanks to the wider Wigan community for helping Sunshine House recover from the setback.

She said: “We would like to express our gratitude to everybody who has contacted us to show their support and have helped with the clean-up effort.

Some of the vandalism at Sunshine House

Some of the vandalism at Sunshine House

“We are being updated with how the investigation is going and all of Wigan has really rallied round us, they have been very generous.”

Council officers helped with the cleaning effort and local businesses have donated equipment to replace what was damaged.

Coun Keith Cunliffe, cabinet member for adult social care and health at Wigan Council, said: “Sunshine House has been crucial to The Deal for Adult Social Care. So when we heard about the incident we wanted to repay them for everything they’ve contributed to The Deal. They’ve helped us so this is our way of helping them – that’s what The Deal is all about.”

The CCTV images show two youngsters - apparently teenagers - wearing T-shirts and shorts, making their way to and from the crime scene on Sunday June 28.

The incident is thought to have started at around 7pm on Sunday evening with the vandals spending about 30 minutes at the rear of the centre on Wellington Street.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Wigan Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.