Vandalism and blaze close Buckingham toilets

Moreton Road toilets, Buckingham. 140204M-A425
Moreton Road toilets, Buckingham. 140204M-A425

Both of Buckingham’s disabled public toilets are out of service following incidents of vandalism this week.

On Monday night firefighters had to break into the toilets on Moreton Road after a group of teenagers found themselves locked inside.

Smoke damage at the Chandos Park disabled toilet

Smoke damage at the Chandos Park disabled toilet

And on Wednesday night, firefighters were called to a fire in the disabled toilet in Chandos Park.

Crew manager Adam Moore said Buckingham firefighters were called to the Moreton Road toilets at about 9.30pm on Monday.

Three boys and two girls, all aged about 16, had become trapped in the toilet after the electronic lock activated on the automatic timer.

Mr Moore told the Advertiser: “Once the electronic lock kicked in, they couldn’t get out. I think bystanders outside heard them and called the fire brigade.”

Firefighters first tried breaking a window, then used a screwdriver to unscrew one of the door locks. When all else failed, they finally used a crowbar to open the door.

Mr Moore said: “We tried doing as little damage as we could. At least no-one was hurt.”

The Moreton Road toilets are owned by Aylesbury Vale District Council (AVDC).

An AVDC spokesman said: “If someone is in the toilet when it locks on the timer setting control, they are still able to exit by either pressing the door open pad or turning the door handle down.

“An officer visited the site on Tuesday afternoon and found the lock handle smashed off the door and the lock broken beyond repair.”

A toilet seat was also smashed, although there is no evidence to suggest those who were trapped were responsible for the damage.

At 8.25pm on Wednesday, firefighters were called to a fire in the disabled toilet in Chandos Park.

Watch manager Martin Howes said foam had been set alight in the toilet pan and bystanders said they had seen youths running away.

He said: “The fire was pretty much out when we got there, it was mainly smoke damage. It wasn’t nice smoke. The fumes would have been very toxic. The thick black smoke would have been evil if it got into your lungs.”

A sanitary bin was also burnt out.

Buckingham Town Council, which owns the Chandos Road toilets, may have to claim on its insurance.”

Neighbourhood Action Group chairman Mike Smith said: “Obviously, repairs cannot be done for nothing.

“Indirectly it’s a charge on the ratepayers of Buckingham. I hope their parents are proud of them.”