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OIC slams ‘intolerable’ vandalism at public loos

The public toilets at St Magnus Lane, Kirkwall, have been the victim of nine instances of vandalism, this year so far.

Orkney Islands Council has warned, today, Tuesday, that an “intolerable” level of vandalism at the St Magnus Lane Public Toilets will result their closure if the incidents continue.

There have been nine instances of vandalism at the much-needed Kirkwall facility so far, this year — at an estimated cost of £1,500.

Two of these incidents have occurred within the past month.

The toilets were reopened due to public demand following a period of closure as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

OIC’s head of infrastructure and strategic projects, Darren Richardson, said the ongoing vandalism had led to the facility’s closure on numerous occasions to enable work to be carried out to repair the damage caused.

He added: “This is particularly difficult with all the restrictions in place due to COVID-19.

“Closure of this much needed local facility will be an unfortunate consequence if vandalism does not stop, the Council faces significant financial challenges made much worse in the present COVID-19 period.

“We ask for everyone’s co-operation and vigilance to see this damage stop. St Magnus Lane toilets are an important facility for all Orkney residents as they are for other users.”

The incidents have been reported to Kirkwall Police who are making enquiries.

OIC development and infrastructure committee chairman, Councillor Graham Sinclair, believes the situation is now becoming “intolerable” and that these crimes are committed by a “mindless minority.”

He said: “The vast majority of people in Orkney respect the property of others but there are a mindless minority who would wish to spoil things for everyone and it is becoming increasingly frustrating for those involved in the clean-up operations, never mind the cost to the public purse.

“The reopening of our public toilet facilities was welcomed by so many, and they are very much seen as a vital facility not just for folk out visiting and enjoying what Orkney has to offer, but also for some employees going about their daily duties.

“It is appalling behaviour and really cannot be tolerated. I would urge anyone with information to pass that on to the police in a bid to stamp out this type of anti-social behaviour.”

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