Cost of vandalism at St Albans’ Westminster Lodge car park

People queuing to enterl at the opening of Westminster Lodge Leisure Centre

People queuing to enterl at the opening of Westminster Lodge Leisure Centre - Credit: Archant

Vandals who damaged and stole from pay and display machines at Westminster Lodge car park have cost St Albans district council more than £9,600 in lost income, it has come to light.

Two machines at the leisure centre car park were targeted by thieves in November and while only £30 was stolen the damage meant they were out of order until mid-February.

That was because there had been a spate of thefts across the county, which meant there was an increased demand for specialist parts from the manufacturer.

Since November 11, incidents have been recorded within council and NCP managed car parks in St Albans alone.

The cost of repairing the two machines totalled more than £2,580 and the estimated loss of revenue for the 74 days they were broken has been estimated at around £9,620.

Cllr Beric Read, portfolio holder for community engagement and localism, said: “We have now installed manganese steel cash boxes and also taken other security measures to minimise robbery attempts by making it more difficult for thieves to carry out these thefts.”

He added: “NSL civil enforcement officers are also being vigilant and checking the machines on a regular basis whilst patrolling.”

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In addition, the council has revealed they lost a further £5,000 when some of the pay and display machines were not fully functioning at Westminster Lodge car park for two months during last summer.