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Reward offered for vandals who blew up Lewes parking meters with fireworks
Police are offering a £1,250 reward for information after two parking meters were blown up by fireworks on Thursday night.
Ticket inspectors discovered the mangled machines on Friday morning in Phoenix Place and another in Friars Walk, in Lewes.
Officers believe they were damaged after fireworks were jammed in the coin slots before being set alight.
Lewes parking meters have been plagued by similar problems since 2004.
Last year vandals damaged 14 between September and November.
Chief Inspector Jason Tingley, Lewes district commander, said: “I find it difficult to understand why anyone would be so reckless as to carry out such potentially dangerous acts.
“I’m amazed that someone hasn’t been injured.
“This amounts to a serious spree of costly vandalism.
We are warning the culprits that we are still determined to find out who is responsible.”
The two machines damaged last night are estimated to cost taxpayers £1,000 and £1,900 to repair.
More than 200 parking meters have been attacked since they were introduced in 2004.
The cost of replacements and repairs is estimated to be in excess of £300,000 with the council previously citing vandalism for increasing parking prices.
Most of the vandalism happens in the weeks around bonfire night when fireworks are readily available.
It is not known for sure if the damage is a protest against parking charges or just mindless vandalism.
Councillor Carl Maynard, lead cabinet member for transport and environment, said: “Whoever committed these mindless crimes should know they risk jail.
As well as the potential to seriously injure a passer-by, this vandalism costs the people of Lewes, who end up footing the bill.”
Chief Inspector Tingley added: “Someone knows who is doing this and it is important that they help us put a stop to it now before someone gets seriously injured. We will be stepping up patrols and I would ask the community to be vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour.”
Contact police on 101 quoting Operation Cohesion or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
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