With regard to the Journal’s coverage of the court case against the two men who broke into Grantham Cricket Club last summer, on behalf of the club we wish to make a public response.
We cannot commend enough the response we have been given by Lincolnshire Police and the constant updates we have received from the inspector overseeing the case over the last year. Yes, it has taken a long time to come to court, but the delays have been due to the CPS deciding whether a case could be brought, and whether some evidence could be admitted.
The small amount of compensation the club has been awarded in no way reflects the losses to the club in terms of re-glazing and replacing stock, not to mention the time that it has taken club members to clean up the mess that was caused and submit an insurance claim for which the insurers wanted to see a receipt for every individual item of stock that was taken.
Every single person involved in running the club, which survives on the goodwill of its members and volunteers, will be disheartened to know that the club loses out, purely because the CPS thinks it is acceptable for a case to take a year to come to court, and that the magistrate reduced the amount of compensation because the culprits had already been on curfew for a year. You may argue that they had already had their punishment, but every pound that any club loses through theft and vandalism is a pound that club members have to replace to continue to offer exactly the kind of facilities that young people can use to give themselves focus, to enjoy themselves and to really feel part of something.
Every hour we spent sorting this mess out is an hour in which other vital tasks could not be done. Thankfully Grantham Cricket Club is a thriving and growing club and has been able to soldier on despite setbacks such as these, but for smaller clubs, youth groups and community groups, a break-in or two can force them to close.
We remain very grateful to Lincolnshire Police and to all club members for their support, dedication and spirit.
Jo Green (secretary)
Alan Lockwood (pavilion manager)
Grantham Cricket Club