Vandals destroy South Shields Christmas lights

Hundreds of people turned out for South Shields Christmas lights switch-on. Now vandals have damaged lights in Ocean Road.
Hundreds of people turned out for South Shields Christmas lights switch-on. Now vandals have damaged lights in Ocean Road.

Vandals have targeted Christmas lights on one of South Shield's busiest streets.

Hundreds of people attended the big switch-on last month but now a number of tree lights and cables have been pulled from trees in Ocean Road, leaving the borough council to foot the bill for repairs.

Coun Tracey Dixon, Lead Member for Area Management and Community Safety, said: “These acts of vandalism damage the festive displays at this special time of year for families and visitors to this newly regenerated street.

“It also means council staff and our contractors have to use valuable resources to repair them – at a cost to all council tax payers.

“I appreciate this is the festive season and the time for high jinks but this mindless vandalism cannot, and will not, be tolerated.

"We will take legal action against anyone found to be committing acts of vandalism in the Borough.”

A major improvement scheme to transform Ocean Road, which is famous for its array of restaurants, B&Bs and guesthouses, was completed earlier this year.

A new road lay-out with better positioned parking bays and a free car park was created along with new street furniture, better paving, new hornbeam trees and public art.

This street is an important cultural asset which draws in millions of visitors every year," said Coun Dixon.

"The recent improvement scheme sought to enhance the appeal of this area still further and boost trade for local retailer. I find it despicable that vandals would seek to jeopardise that by their thoughtless and reckless behaviour.”