'We'll deal with them robustly' - Town's beautiful yarnbombing vandalised

Breckland councillors and the Dereham community crafters

Breckland councillors and Dereham Community Crafters were pictured last week with some of the delightful knitted creations. - Credit: Breckland District Council

Robust action has been promised by police after vandals were purportedly caught destroying a town’s delightful knitted creations.

Dereham town centre was covered in woolen animals, flags, dream-catchers and other ‘yarnbombs’ by the Dereham Community Crafters at the end of July, as part of a Breckland council-funded project called ‘Celebrating Dereham’. 

But just 24 hours after beautiful bunting was strung up along the town’s Wright’s Walk, a group of juveniles were allegedly witnessed tearing it down. 

And the bunting has not been the only damage suffered by the yarnbombers. 

“We made snakes - their heads were ripped off. They’ve been fixed,” said chief crafter Judy Rogers.

In addition “a lovely knitted zebra” has been stolen from the display and somebody has tried to cut open one of the knitted items attached to one of the town centre lampposts. 

Ms Rogers said an eyewitness to the bunting incident had seen three" youths" on Wright’s Walk. 

When they realised they were being photographed, they stopped tearing the bunting down and left the scene.

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Ms Rogers added they were caught on CCTV and that she had passed the footage onto police. 

At a Wednesday meeting of Dereham’s Safer Neighbourhood Action Panel (SNAP), district councillor Hilary Bushell told police officers: “I know you can’t go round looking at knitting, I’m not asking you to, but it would be helpful if [you are] just driving through if you see anything... just to make a note.”

Hilary Bushell, Mayor of Dereham is keen to help promote adoption. Picture: Ian Burt

Breckland District Councillor Hilary Bushell, who represents Toftwood. - Credit: Archant

She added: “Some of those ladies must have been devastated after the hours of work they put in.”

PC Jon Downs said: “If we find anybody doing it and causing problems, I promise you we’ll deal with them robustly, I promise you.”

A police spokesperson said on Thursday that officers will be making follow-up enquiries based on the conversation at the SNAP meeting.

A message from Elijah to the Dereham Community Crafters

A card was sent to the crafters by a six-year-old called Elijah, who had enjoyed seeing the crafts around the town. He has offered them his help in fixing them. - Credit: Supplied by Judy Rogers

A six-year-old boy named Elijah has sent a handwritten card to the crafters, which reads: “I am sorry that some people have wrecked your hard work. I really liked looking at them all. Can I help you fix them?”

Elijah's card includes an illustration of one of the knitted caterpillars

Elijah's card includes an illustration of one of the knitted caterpillars - Credit: Supplied by Judy Rogers

The card includes a drawing of a caterpillar of the kind knitted by the crafters.