A SPATE of anti-social behaviour in Ryde has seen an historic statue damaged beyond repair and a group of youths detained twice in Ryde Town Hall.

A cherub has been smashed off a fountain in Eastern Gardens, in what Cllr Phil Jordan believes was an attempt to climb the feature.

He says the cherub had been damaged before ­— around three years ago ­— and will cost in the region of £500 to replace.

At the same weekend, on October 3, six individuals were detained by security after breaking into Ryde Town Hall.

A week later, as many as 14 teenagers broke into the building again, and four were detained ­— the rest scarpering.

Isle of Wight County Press:

The damaged cherub, or what's left of it.

Isle of Wight County Press:

"We've had groups of young people break into the town hall," said Cllr Phil Jordan.

"Boys and girls, around 15 and 16 years old.

"They've broken in numerous times. The police had four phone calls on that first weekend but were reluctant to attend.

"Only after the security team arrived and detained six of the individuals did the police arrive.

"They just took their details and let them go.

"It's more than frustrating. If you could look inside the town hall, you would see the absolute carnage that's been created in there.

"They told the security team they were 'urban explorers' but a lot of damage has been caused.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Ryde Town Hall.

"The theatre organ has been smashed, the floor has had paint poured over it, internal doorways and windows have been smashed, and crockery has been thrown about the place.

"We're talking about thousands and thousands of pounds' worth of damage.

"As a result of these incidents, the electricity is going back on in the building and we're going to put some small cameras in that will be linked to the security team.

"We've got a particular problem in Ryde.

"To be fair, you could start thinking about Covid and the affect it's had on people's mental health.

"If one were to try to understand this, that could well be a contributing factor to this spike, but it's not good for the town, our community, or for the kids themselves."

Hampshire Constabulary have been approached for comment.