Report: Connor Steel
Photograph: Fareham Town FC
CCTV cameras installed this week at Fareham Town FC after vandals targeted their Cams Alders Stadium last Tuesday evening (June 1), just hours after the club hosted a successful end-of-season Youth trophy final; with this illegal act acting as the final straw after a series of similar incidents seen in early May.
Members of the club team arrived last Wednesday morning (June 2) to start early off-the-pitch activities for the new season, instead finding one fence broken and litter scattered across the ground. This included smashed glass bottles underneath the staircase and further rubbish around the surroundings of the club’s tea bar hospitality area.
Club treasurer Tony White was the person who found the damage; therefore making the difficult decision to assign funding to install 24-hrs surveillance of the stadium in the hope of deterring any further vandalism. However this money had meant that the team will lose out further over the summer as they look to improve on and off the pitch.
This news was seen as another blow after three lockdowns and Covid-19 regulations have ruined regular income for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 campaigns; with the original plan being to pay volunteers for undertaking matchday tasks now shelved as well as a delay to many Fareham Town FC projects until next year.
Mr White, who has been part of the local club’s set-up since 1967, has expressed his disappointment and frustration over recent days with an interview with Portsmouth News shared onto multiple social media groups last Thursday (June 3).
In this short online piece, Tony is quoted as saying: “Security cameras are planned for next week – we’ve had to bite the bullet as it’s an ongoing saga. It’s annoying, we try to raise money to keep the community club going and the price of the cameras takes a big chunk out of our finances but hopefully it’s going to deter people.
“Hopefully it will stop when we’ve got our cameras installed. We want people to know that if you’re doing it, you’re going to get caught as the new security cameras will be going up from next week. This is the final straw.”
It is suspected among Fareham Town club officials that a group of youngsters had a small party and slept in the ground overnight, leaving before anybody arrived. However that is mere conjecture and this latest incident has been reported to Hampshire Constabulary who are said to be investigating further.