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Teens charged over £11,000 hospital vandalism

Woodend Hospital
Woodend Hospital

Two teenagers have been charged with causing £11,000 of damage to a city hospital – the latest in what has been described as “horrible” vandalism in Aberdeen.

The boys, aged 14 and 16, were charged, following the destruction of roof slates and windows at Woodend Hospital in Mastrick on March 20.

The incidents happened at the hospital’s industrial complex, which contains a boiler house and a number of storage facilities.

The boys have also been charged in connection with attacks on 10 vehicles in the Lang Stracht area of the city on Saturday, April 1.

And the 14-year-old was further charged in connection with an alleged attempted break-in to Muirfield Primary School in the Mastrick area on Friday, March 31.

The boys will be reported to the Youth Justice Management Unit.

The attacks came after The Press & Journal revealed Aberdeen City Council had been forced to spend more than £124,000 to repair vandalism in 2016.

It had to fork out over £100,000 of that on schools, community centres and libraries and more than £18,000 on children’s homes and social work offices.

Smaller sums were spent fixing offices, car parks, public conveniences, Bon Accord care home and housing offices.

These latest incidents prompted former city MSP, Dame Anne Begg to condemn vandalism, and she insisted that it was not a victimless crime.

She said: “It’s the cost of repair. It means money can’t be spent on something more useful and it makes the environment horrible.

“I wasn’t conscious that vandalism is worse here than anywhere else.

“It often comes in spates. You often find it’s a group that is responsible, a small number of people. It’s normally that rather than lots of different people running about doing a small bit.

“Until that group gets caught, you get a spate. Then, when they are caught, nothing happens for a while.

“But it definitely isn’t a victimless crime. These repairs have to be paid for, whether it is the NHS, local authority or public sector.”

Scott Arnot, support manager of elderly and rehabilitation services at Woodend Hospital, was equally scathing about the vandals’ actions.

He said: “This is the third such incident at Woodend Hospital in recent weeks.

“It is deeply disappointing to see this level of damage being done to public buildings.”

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