A group leader at a Buckinghamshire Scout group said he was ‘horrified that people have nothing better to do with their time’ after vandals spray-painted the wall of a local hut. 

Around lunchtime on Sunday, November 12, a Cub leader returning borrowed stoves to the High Wycombe Scout Hut on Beaumont Way in Hazlemere spotted yellow graffiti spray painted on the back wall of the building, marking the most recent break-in to the fenced-off area which has an unfortunate history of antisocial behaviour.

The hut fell victim to an arson attack back in 2014 and is still not fit for full use, with rebuilding currently underway on some of its interior facilities.

Although last weekend’s graffiti hit was the first break-in Scout leaders had been aware of this year, Leader of the 11th Wycombe group, Malcolm Walters, said there have been several other instances of suspected youngsters jumping the fence and lighting fires inside and around the property over the last eight years.

He added: “The graffiti shouldn’t be too hard to get off with solvent, but the problem is that kids can get in and use the area as a playground. There’s a little track that goes down to the hut, and since it’s dark and close to the woods, it’s an ideal place for teens to go and just do whatever they want.

“We are in the process of putting in security cameras and motion sensor lights, hopefully in the next few weeks.”

Bucks Free Press:

READ MORE: Police remove rough sleepers from Bucks underpass after 'antisocial behaviour'

Malcolm, who is 75 years old, said the most recent vandalism had been discouraging, but he had felt bolstered by an outpouring of support from members of the public who were ‘horrified’ by the seemingly senseless act.

“Most people are horrified that these vandals have nothing better to do with their time – we suspect that it is teenagers who are responsible as this kind of thing isn’t done by sensible or mature people.”

He said that the reason why the rebuilding project was taking so long was partly due to the turbulent economic climate of the past near-decade.

“The insurance money went a long way, but inflation has eaten into it a lot. We’ve been forced to be really careful. The outside of the hut is looking good now though, thanks to the many volunteers who have given their time to do the landscaping and saved us spending thousands of pounds.”

Bucks Free Press:

Determined not to be deterred by the latest bout of antisocial behaviour, Malcolm said the Scout Leaders are hoping to open the hut as a fully functional facility by early next year, pending tradesperson availability.

“We're planning to open a squirrel unit in the spring for children between four and six years old, and we have permission to house other non-profits which will help to cover some of the expenses.

“It’s been nice to see all of the positive responses and we’ve managed to raise £130,000 in various ways towards the repairs, which shows the community support."