VANDALS who smashed lights at the new £1.32million Marine Parade shelters in Lyme Regis have been condemned.

And the incident, which follows an attempted burglary at Rinky Tinks Ice Cream Parlour, theft of tools from an outbuilding on Monmouth beach and an attempted break-in at the harbourmaster’s office, is another reason police are so keen to get CCTV as soon as possible.

But planners’ demands for technical reports have delayed installation by several months.

In the latest incident police say there is no way the small decorative ground lights could have been damaged by accident and are appealing for anyone who might have seen anything suspicious to come forward.

Lyme community beat manager PC Richard Winward said it was a shame there was no CCTV.

He said: “If we had CCTV it may not have happened or we may have been able to detect who did it.

“I know that planning is awkward but this is another example of how CCTV would have helped us.”

He added: “There is no way that someone could smash them other than deliberately.”

Mayor Sally Holman condemned the vandalism, which came just before the a section of the shelters was renamed for the Queen’s Jubilee.

Coun Holman said: “People who can do this kind of thing are not the sort who take pride in Lyme Regis.”

She said it was also another reason to agree with the police that they need powers to tackle anti-social drinking by moving people on and confiscating alcohol.

The mayor added: “That kind of vandalism is often associated with drinking.

“I differed from the majority of the council in thinking the police should have these powers.

“The trouble is we don’t have a massive problem but we have very undesirable incidents.”

Coun Chris Clipson said the damage to the lights was only discovered when they were checking them before the Jubilee Pavilion naming ceremony.

He said the lights would not be easy to replace as they would probably need digging up.

He said: “It is a shame that somebody has actually managed to destroy them.

“You can’t replace them without quite a lot of effort so we will have to wait and see what we do next.”

The council will have to go back to the manufacturers to find out how they were fitted, he said.