CCTV Spots Men Stealing Light Of Hope

Police in Bournemouth are appealing for witnesses and anyone with information to come forward after a man vandalised a landmark in the town – with CCTV footage being released.

At around 2.40am on Friday, 15 October 2010, the Light of Hope, formerly known as the Eternal Flame, was damaged in Bournemouth Square.

A man was seen to break the plastic surround away from the plinth, before he and another man ran down Bourne Avenue, toward Branksome Wood Road, with the dislodged globe.

Click here to see the CCTV footage

Sergeant Dave Hambleton, of Bournemouth police, said:

“I am now able to release CCTV footage of this damage and two young men running away from the scene.

“This footage clearly shows that a number of young women were talking with these two men prior to the incident – as well as taking photographs.

“I would urge the men pictured, as well as the women, to come forward and speak with the police.

“I am also appealing for anyone else who witnessed this incident, and anyone who recognises the pictured men, to call me as soon as possible.”

The plastic globe has not been recovered and the damage to the Light of Hope may cost over £1000 to repair.

The Light of Hope is kept and maintained by Bournemouth YMCA.

Blair Crawford, Executive Director of Bournemouth YMCA and Vice Chair of Bournemouth 2026, said:

“The Light of Hope was given to the people of the town by the churches of Bournemouth. It is a popular landmark, as well as a meeting place for local people, and this damage is very disappointing.

“At a time when we are all being urged to make savings, expensive damage such as this comes as quite a blow.

“It’s possible that the two men are not aware of the huge cost of their actions, but I’d ask them to do the right thing and return the plastic globe.”

Witnesses and anyone with information should call Dorset Police in confidence on 01202 222 222 or the free and anonymous Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111 where mobile phone tariffs may apply.