APPEALS have been made for residents and visitors to be the eyes and ears of a town to help crack down on persistent vandalism which has cost thousands of pounds and regularly puts public toilets out of action.

The latest in a series of incidents happened last weekend when the public toilets in the Bridge Street car park in Bedale were damaged, only weeks after major repairs had to be carried out when equipment was ripped off the wall.

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Mayor Andrew Hallett said: “There has been persistent low-level vandalism since early summer, along with more serious incidents including a new flush regulator being ripped off the wall and a window broken.

“There is also regular evidence of drinking and smoking in the toilets.”

"The town council spends considerable money and staff time keeping public toilets open in Bedale for the convenience of townspeople, traders and visitors, but we are reliant on the goodwill of residents and visitors to treat the facilities with respect."

Bedale town and Hambleton district councillor John Noone said: "This is an ongoing problem and it is a chunk of our budget.

"People rely on this service, they can help us by being vigilant and if they are in that area and see something suspicious, ring the police if there is obviously something going on.

"We rely on the goodwill of our residents to be our eyes and ears to tackle these problems.

"You can only spend so much on facilities before you come to a crunch point where you are just throwing good money after bad.

"It is also worthwhile using the power of social media."

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PC Sarah Norman said in a message on social media: "Words fail me. Please speak up if you have any information.

"Between 7am on October 31 and 8am on November 1, damage has been caused to the toilets at Bridge Street, Bedale.

"If anyone has any information please contact 101 and quote 12210233082 or contact PC 1793 Sarah Norman,"

Bedale Town Council took over the running and maintenance of the toilets in 2016 from Hambleton District Council to save them from closure after the authority said they would not be continuing to maintain the facilities.

They were fully refurbished in 2018.

The council is now considering closing the toilets earlier in the day to try and stop vandalism.

The authority has also had problems at the public toilets at Bedale Park which had to be fully renovated earlier this year.

They are open between March and October and for park events.

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