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ARSON ATTACK ON SHANKLIN’S FALCON CROSS DISABLED TOILET


Shanklin’s accessible public toilet at Falcon Cross has been temporarily closed due to a deliberate arson attack.

The incident occurred on Wednesday 10th April and has caused damage that has led causing damage and requiring repair to enable vulnerable users, parents with young children and disabled adults, to use it.

Shanklin Town Councillor Jon Gilbey said:

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“The fire was deliberately set causing damage to two areas of the self-contained unit, including smoke contamination to all surfaces.

“It’s going to take some time to repair and bring back into use as we need to get them replaced through our installation company, two wall panels, one electrical sensor and some hand rail supports”.

This incident follows recent fire-related incidents to public toilets in Lake, as well as another fire at Falcon Cross in 2015 which resulted in £40,000 of repair costs.

Cllr Gilbey added:

“Fortunately there was no injuries, but it doesn’t bear thinking about what could have happened as a result of this mindless act of vandalism. The toilet block is so near to shops and residential properties.

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“Had we not changed them [the toilets] over to the new single occupancy self-contained units then the building would have definitely been extensively damaged, not only closing the whole facility but also putting into question our planned library relocation and development for the rest of the redundant building”.

The Town Council has forwarded conclusive video evidence to Hampshire Constabulary of individuals seen outside and entering the toilets at the time of the fire – this shows beyond any reasonable doubt that they intentionally started the fire.

Shanklin Town Council has also highlighted the implications of this type of incident to all involved; as well as working to ensure the 2 other units have remained open with no disruption.

Cllr Gilbey concluded:

“We hope those responsible are held to account, and local residents bear with us while repairing the amenity.

“Town Councillors are volunteers trying to provide the best possible amenities in our Town, and when things like this happen it has major implications, not just financial, but for all our residents and visitors to the Town”.

If anyone has any additional information that may help regarding this incident and ongoing Police enquiry please contact the Town Council on 01983 865101 or the Police direct quoting crime reference number: RMS –

Anyone with information relating to this incident can contact Police on 101, quoting 44190125247.

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