Scout leader's disgust at heartless thieves who stole from children in Sheffield

The Scout hut in Handsworth
The Scout hut in Handsworth
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A Scout leader has vented his fury at the heartless thieves who stole from children in Sheffield.

Burglars broke into St Mary's Parish Centre and Scout hut in Handsworth last week, some time between Tuesday and Thursday evening, and stole money which had been set aside for a Christmas party.

Vandals then targeted the hut, off Handsworth Road, on Sunday, smashing windows and doors.

Tony Williams, group leader of the 273rd Hansworth Scouts, said not too much money had been taken but repairing the damage and better securing the hut is expected to cost up to £2,000.

"We're very upset because the money they stole was what the children had paid in subscriptions, and Christmas party money. These people are stealing from children," he said.

Mr Williams said the Scout group was not the only victim, with thieves also breaking into the parish centre and St Joseph's RC Primary School. Nearby allotments have been targeted too.

He believes a group of teenagers, recently seen walking along Handsworth Road trying to open doors, is responsible.

But he was delighted by the response from the community and said the Christmas party would still go ahead.

"The parents have been great, helping to repair the damage and fixing temporary grilles to the windows," he said.

"There's also been a meeting with police and our MP Clive Betts to look at how to tackle the problems in the area."

The Scout group has around 100 members aged six to 18, and about 20 adult volunteers.

The break-in happened at some point between Tuesday evening and 8.30pm on Thursday, when it was discovered.

Police say they have stepped up patrols, installed CCTV cameras and are working with other agencies to tackle problems in the area.

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101, quoting the incident number 955 of November 2.