Port Augusta Youth Centre targeted by vandals

DAMAGE: Port Augusta Youth Centre Project Manager Corina Jenkins and Centre Manager David Hickman are furious following a second break-in at the centre this month.
DAMAGE: Port Augusta Youth Centre Project Manager Corina Jenkins and Centre Manager David Hickman are furious following a second break-in at the centre this month.

Two break-ins at the Port Augusta Youth Centre (PAYC) in the past month have resulted in thousands of dollars worth of damages, including smashed windows and stolen equipment.

The first incident, which occurred at the start of July, conjured a damage bill of close to $5000.

Vandals shattered windows of the organisation’s bus, then broke into the centre and stole a range of items, before activating the security alarm and fleeing the scene.

The vandals targeted the same bus during the second break-in on Wednesday night, August 8, smashing rear and passenger windows once again, while also breaking car mirrors.

Following repair works worth $2900, the vehicle had only returned to the centre a week before the second incident.

Staff members are bracing themselves for a more hefty repair bill this time around, as damage to the vehicle has been deemed to be more extensive.

PAYC Manager David Hickman explained what the “senseless” attacks mean for the centre.

“If we haven’t got a bus, we aren’t able to pick children up from places like Davenport and Lakeview, and drop them home,” he said. 

“When equipment is damaged or stolen from our centre, it has an affect on all the kids.”

PAYC staff members have contacted the police to look further into the break-ins, but will be taking their own measures to prevent any further attacks.

“We’ll be increasing our security here at a number of different levels,” David said.

“Not only with police presence, but also with CCTV and upgrading our existing security system, so that this doesn’t happen again.”

PAYC Project Manager Corina Jenkins was furious after the incidents and had a message for the vandals.

“You will be caught eventually,” Corina said. “If you don’t want to be here, then don’t destroy the place. There’s no need.”

Corina and David confirmed the break-ins would not deter PAYC from providing its youth services, with the centre to continue operating as usual.

PAYC is based on Hobby Avenue.

If you have any information regarding the incidents, contact the police.