Queanbeyan police have ramped up regular surveillance of Seiffert Oval after a spate of attacks by vandals in May estimated to have cost more than $50,000 in property damage.
Police attended four instances of break and entry on May 3, 9, 20 and 22, Queanbeyan police Sergeant Mark Dudley said.
“They [vandals] had kicked a hole in the upstairs box seating section,” he said. “They damaged the walls, got the paint and poured paint over the carpet, walls and outside chairs.”
Three youths were arrested at the oval on May 3, charged with aggravated break and entry and have been bailed to appear in court this month.
“The initial break-in of the Veterans MC room, downstairs, for which three youths were charged, is estimated at approximately $4000 in damage and stolen property,” a council spokesperson said.
“At this stage a final estimate for damages and vandalism upstairs has not been given to council but the damage could be in the vicinity of $50,000.”
The Canberra Raiders and Newcastle Knights confirmed they will play a NRL preseason trial match at the oval in February 2015, confident the recent crime wouldn’t jeopardise the planned game.
“The [Queanbeyan City] council has the responsibility now over the next eight, nine months before we play to make sure the ground is ready for use and up to NRL standard,” Canberra Raiders media manager Ben Pollack said.
“Worst case scenario if it wasn’t we would look at something else, but we have full confidence in the guys to do the job out there.”
Queanbeyan mayor Tim Overall said he was appalled at the “mindless destruction”.
He said the council was making an insurance claim for the recent damages but improving security with fencing, security cameras and alarms at the venue was a priority within the imminent $1.1 million upgrades.
“We are having a serious look at improving the security of this whole facility particularly given the added investment,” he said.