The Somerset Regional Council has had enough to people vandalising public toilets.
The Somerset Regional Council has had enough to people vandalising public toilets.

Council irate over flushing funds down trashed toilets

AFTER being closed due to coronavirus restrictions, public toilets in the Somerset reopened in May, and became the target of uncaring vandals.

Three public toilets were targeted in the space of a week, with door closers stolen and privacy latches damaged at Minden and Lowood.

The Anzac Park toilets at Kilcoy were hardest hit, with the male toilet door kicked in, hinges damaged, the shower head stolen from the mail toilet, and the shower seat and soap dispenser stolen from the disabled toilet.

READ MORE: Vandals target toilets in disturbing bathroom destruction

When discussing the acts during their meeting this week, councillors demanded to know what was being done to identify those involved in the attacks.

“Each of the locations have cameras already,” Director of Corporate and Community Services Matthew McGoldrick said.

“How do you tie that damage to when it occurred, when it was noticed, and so on? Cameras aren’t necessarily the answer.”

Cr. Robert Whalley expressed his frustration with the situation.

“How does a camera not pick up someone carrying a bloody toilet seat?” He said.

“We need to get on top of this, because this is ridiculous.”

Mr McGoldrick explained that the cameras weren’t in a position to identify the number plates of those who perpetrated the thefts, nor could they identify the culprits in cases where items were damaged but nothing was taken.

READ MORE: Ratepayers foot staggering graffiti, vandalism bills

Cr Whalley suggested that council look into using vibration sensors to detect when acts of vandalism were being committed, which could then be paired with the camera data to catch those who were responsible.

Cr Cheryl Gaedtke said additional measures were worth considering, but the sensitive nature of toilets meant there were limits to what could be done.

“Obviously this is a complex issue, due to the privacy issues at those facilities,” she said.

Councillors voted for an investigation to be made into additional measures and new options to reduce vandalism, with a report on costs and concepts to be brought to a future meeting.

More stories by Nathan Greaves.


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