Metal thieves blackout Barking football club

Epidemic metal thefts have resulted in a community football club cancelling training sessions after a break-in plunged the facilities into darkness.

Cabling that served the floodlights at Barking Football Club, in Mayesbrook Park, was stolen from the club grounds between Wednesday and Friday last week.

The council-owned facilities had not been used for a few days during the freezing weather.

When club members returned on Friday, they found that the lights in the changing rooms were not working.

Club secretary Peter Ball said: “We realised that a cable was missing from the old clubhouse.

“These people have no consideration for other people, for property, for the effect this has on the football that’s played at the club and for the facilities used by the community.”

A goalkeeping training session on Monday was cancelled because the floodlights are out of order.

Most Read

Club chairman Rob O’Brien said: “It’s a real shame because we get quite a good community.

“We have had to call off the training for our five to 11-year-olds.

“A lot of young local children who like to come here have been affected.

“They stole an 18in piece of copper pipe. For that we have had to replace a lot of water mains which cost �200 which does not come anywhere near what it’s worth in terms of scrap metal.

“It’s a shame that these things happen to voluntary organisations that don’t have a lot of funds.”

Police borough commander of Barking and Dagenham, Gary Buttercase, said: “My officers are working in partnership with scrap metal dealers to ensure that there is an accurate record of all scrap metal transactions and now make frequent visits to ensure that no stolen metal is found at the sites.

“Thefts of this kind hugely disrupt the services provided by travel networks, churches and the latest victim being this well-loved local football club.”

Anyone with information concerning this theft should call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.