Public toilet facilities in Orkney continue to be targeted by vandals – leading to a warning that further restrictions may be necessary.
A cycle of continued anti-social behaviour at local toilets could see opening hours curbed in a bid to stamp out the ongoing abuse suffered during weekends and late at night.
Recently the facilities at Dingieshowe in the East Mainland were damaged, while this weekend, two more toilet facilities – St Magnus Lane and Shore Street – were targeted.
A door was ripped from its hinges, empty bottles and tins of alcohol were strewn all around, along with cigarette butts, wrappers, toilet roll was left lying around outside and a supermarket trolley abandoned inside one of the facilities.
Hayley Green, Orkney Islands Council Head of IT and Facilities, said: “We have reached a point in this continued cycle of vandalism and general abuse of our public toilet facilities where we have to consider whether restrictions may be necessary to opening hours for example in a bid to curb this type of behaviour, which does tend to happen overnight at weekends.
“We are very reluctant to do this as we realise the facilities are there for use for responsible folks as well. However, there is considerable cost in replacement and repair and staff time in resolving these issues – resources that could be much better spent elsewhere.
“People often call for CCTV to be put in place – this is a very costly practice and privacy issues must be taken into account. We are also concerned that it would be a fruitless exercise – vandals may also simply target the cameras.
“We would appeal for anyone who sees others behaving in this manner to let the Police know by calling 101 – we need your help to try and ensure these facilities can remain open for the benefit of all.”
Kirkwall Police will be carrying out regular patrols of hot spots, particularly at weekends, in an attempt to stamp out on these senseless acts of vandalism.
Area Commander Chief Inspector Matt Webb said: "Anti-social behaviour and vandalism have a disruptive effect on local communities and we act on any information we receive.
"We carry out regular patrols of affected areas and will take the appropriate actions where any offenders are identified.
"Anyone who has concerns about anti-social behaviour in their area is encouraged to contact police by calling 101 as promptly as possible."