A COUPLE have called for extra security for beach huts after their paddleboards were stolen last week.

Tim Chittleburgh bought two blow-up paddleboards last October for his wife, Margaret Cooney, which were a birthday present.

The paddleboards, which are valued at £800 overall, were stored in a friend’s beach hut and were regularly used by Margaret and her friend.

The beach hut in Hove had three padlocks on the outside but the wood they were attached to was pried open to get access.

The Argus: The broken door (left), and Margaret Cooney (right).The broken door (left), and Margaret Cooney (right).

Sussex Police said the incident happened between Wednesday September 8, and Monday September 13, with an enquiry still ongoing.

The couple believe there should be more security patrols and CCTV to deter people from damaging beach huts and stealing people’s belongings.

Tim said: “It would be nice to see some sort of law enforcement presence once in a while, even if it is just as a deterrent. All you ever see is police cars driving up and down with blue flashing lights, very rarely see police walking up and down. Even something as simple as CCTV.

“Even something as simple as CCTV. Yeah the paddleboards were in there, ‘bonkers we shouldn’t have paddleboards in there’, but then again they shouldn’t have been stolen should they?

“It’s not like they weren’t locked up with three padlocks.”

Margaret added that the area normally feels safe.

She said: “CCTV cameras down there would be the main thing really because otherwise it feels really safe.

“There’s equipment and people’s personal belongings inside the huts but also the damage that gets done to the huts on the outside. You see that occasionally and that’s a real nuisance for the owners.”

The Argus: They were stolen last week.They were stolen last week.

Conservative councillor Robert Nemeth, who is the founder of Hove Beach Hut Association, called on the council to do more to tackle crime on the seafront.

He said: “Crime on Hove seafront is still a major problem which the council should be taking a major role in tackling.

"The winter should be spent planning for next year so that we don’t have a repeat of this year’s issues.”

A spokeswoman for Sussex Police said: “Police received a report of a paddleboard being stolen from a beach hut on Hove Lawns. Damage was also caused to the beach hut.

“The theft happened some time between Wednesday, September 8 and Monday, September 13.

“Enquiries are ongoing, and anyone who saw what happened or who may have any other information is asked to contact police online or by calling 101 quoting serial 209 of 16/09.