Jedburgh pool targeted in weekend vandalism spree

Manager Billy Robson clears glass from Jedburgh's Laidlaw Memorial Pool.
Manager Billy Robson clears glass from Jedburgh's Laidlaw Memorial Pool.

A spate of vandalism across Jedburgh on Saturday night has forced the closure of the swimming pool there for over a week.

Laidlaw Memorial Pool has been closed to swimmers since Sunday morning after a smashed window at the Oxnam Road facility left glass scattered across the pool, in what pool manager Billy Robson is describing as “wanton vandalism”.

Broken window at Laidlaw Memorial Pool.

Broken window at Laidlaw Memorial Pool.

He said: “When we came in on Sunday morning that’s when we discovered that the pool window had been smashed.

“We went into the pool plant room and realised it had been broken in to too, they had battered in the door.

“Nothing was taken, it was just wanton vandalism really.

“It was a small stone, the size of your fist, but its landed on the pool cover, so that is some strength to get through a quarter inch thick double glazed window and through the plastic cover.

Broken window at Carters Rest.

Broken window at Carters Rest.

“It’s been some belt.”

Mr Robson also believes attempts were made to break a window on the buildings glass fronted cafe and entrance after marks were found on the glass there on Sunday too.

“Obviously they have tried to do something there too. 
“It’s wanton vandalism really. It’s pointless and it has knackered a community facility for all our regulars and especially the children.”

The pool, run by volunteer group Jedburgh Leisure Facilities Trust and operated by over a dozen full and part time staff, needs to be closed so that it can be drained, scrubbed, dried and refilled.

Billy Robson.

Billy Robson.

“That’s a big cost for a small community pool,” Mr Robson added. “We depend on the 52 weeks of the year for trading so a week out is quite a lot of money.

“The gym is open as normal but we can’t open the steam room beside the pool due to health and safety regulations.

“We’ve had to cancel the children’s swimming lessons and school visits and our disabled groups are missing out too.

“It’s affected a lot of people, not just those in Jedburgh.”

Police are also investigating further acts of vandalism in Jedburgh which occurred around the same time and are appealing for witnesses.

The Carters Rest bar and restaurant on Abbey Place had a window smashed to the rear of the building and its garden area disturbed in what its owners are putting down to a “mindless vandal on the rampage”.

A front windshield was also smashed on a car parked in the town’s main car park near the bus station and two benches, one near the band stand on Silk Road near the A68, and another near the Belter’s Bar on Castlegate, were also completely destroyed.

Police Constable Suzanne Kay said: “These acts of vandalism have caused considerable distress for the local community.

“As a result of the vandalism Jedburgh swimming pool will be closed for approximately eight days whilst the glass from the smashed window is cleared from the pool area.

“I would ask anyone who has any information relating to the three incidents to get in touch with us at their earliest convenience.”

Anyone with information can contact officers at Jedburgh Police Station on 101 quoting incident 1335 of Sunday, February 25, or report anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

In October a similar incident in Galashiels forced the closure of the Live Borders- run swimming pool there after a window, broken by vandals, scattered glass into the water.