Damage caused by man using metal detector on football pictches in Rugby

Colin Horton and Jim Wood, groundsman, inspect the damage at Whinfield Rec.
Colin Horton and Jim Wood, groundsman, inspect the damage at Whinfield Rec.
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A metal detector enthusiast who caused havoc by digging up council football pitches is himself being hunted, on suspicion of causing criminal damage.

Over the last week, 60 holes have been dug in football and cricket pitches at Whinfield Rec, and a further 40 at Featherbed Lane recreation ground in Hillmorton.

As a result, the council has had to take the pitches out of use as they are unsafe to play, and with current weather conditions they are unlikely to repair themselves any time soon.

Witnesses reported seeing a man with a metal detector digging holes in the pitch at Whinfield Rec between 16:45 and 17:50 last Friday (26 September). Since then, holes have also been found at Featherbed Lane recreation ground.

Colin Horton, Rugby Borough Council green spaces officer, said: “Whoever this person is they did not have permission from us to dig up our pitches, which have now been put out of action for some considerable time.

“This is criminal damage that has caused extra expense and inconvenience to residents and to the football teams.”

Cllr Dr Mark Williams, Rugby Borough Council portfolio holder for sustainable environment, said: “Inconsiderate and criminal behaviour from an individual cannot be allowed to inconvenience so many people without being punished.

“We will follow these incidents up to the fullest extent allowed by the law, and would ask anyone who may have seen this criminal to report what they saw to the police.”

Witnesses can contact the police crime desk on 02476 483432, referencing crime number 23N7/21597Z/14.