A YOUTH centre in Canford Heath has been vandalised for the third time in a week as a spate of anti-social behaviour continues to affect the area.

Two skylight windows have been smashed and a boiler damaged at the Limelights club, forcing the charity-run centre to close a week earlier than planned before it resumes activities in September.

The windows and boiler have been damaged barely a fortnight after they were replaced following a previous attack by vandals.

In a post on Facebook, staff members said: “It is with sadness and frustration that we let you know that we will have to close the centre a week earlier than planned this week due to extensive damage sustained to the building on Monday night.

“We are working with the police and they are supporting us to challenge these behaviours.”

It follows a similar incident at the sports pavilion used by Dexter Sports YFC in Learoyd Road last week. A defibrillator leased to the sports club was stolen.

The life-saving equipment was later recovered but was damaged beyond repair.

A gang of youths, understood to live outside Canford Heath, have been wreaking havoc across the area over the last couple of months. Residents have reported incidents of intimidation, assault, and theft, particularly in Adastral Square.

A public drop-in event is due to take place on September 3 for residents to voice their concerns to local police, councillors and MP for Mid Dorset and North Poole, Michael Tomlinson.

Canford Heath West councillor and Mayor of Poole, Sean Gabriel, said CCTV was due to be installed at Limelights following a successful bid for Community Infrastructure Levy funding from the council.

“It’s really frustrating the club has been vandalised again as it does such a good job in the community,” he said.

“I first became aware of issues with a group of young people in mid-June. The information from the police is that they are not local people, they’re coming from outside the area. Police are aware of the ringleaders, and they’re working really hard to deal with them. They can only act within their powers.”

He added: “The upcoming drop-in meeting will aim to reassure residents that action is being taken. We want them to know this issue is being taken seriously.”