Southampton's Parklife Cafe's future in jeopardy as thieves strike again

Daily Echo: Cleaning up at Parklife Cafe in Shirley after it was hit by vandals Cleaning up at Parklife Cafe in Shirley after it was hit by vandals

THE FUTURE of a much-loved cafe at the heart of a Hampshire community could be in jeopardy after thieves smashed their way inside causing thousands of pounds of damage.

Parklife Cafe in Shirley has been forced to close for at least two days after it was targeted on its third anniversary by thieves who ransacked the place in what owners believe was a premeditated attack.

The break-in caused anger and disgust among the many young families who use the cafe in St James Park everyday, while those volunteers running it fear the cost of the theft and damage could see it closed next winter.

The thieves gained entry overnight on Sunday by smashing one of the cafe’s large glass walls before they jumped over the counter, stealing the empty till, laptop which provides music for customers and filling a bin full of snacks and drinks from the fridge.

They then kicked in the staff room door where the keys to the rest of the building were locked inside, allowing them to ransack the place, stealing whatever they could find, including a large monitor, and another laptop.

Daily Echo:

They also smashed their way into the manager’s office, stealing nearly £100 in charity money, which had been raised during the recent community games, which was going to be donated to the Coxford District Youth Project.

Manger Paul Salmon had no choice but to close the cafe for two days as the massive clean-up operation got under way, making sure that every little piece of glass has been cleared.

The closure will see the cafe lose £1,000 in takings, while the replacement of the window and the artwork that was on it will cost more than £2,000, alongside the cost of what was stolen which runs to more than £1,000.

As the cafe is run by volunteers on behalf of the community, any profit made is ploughed back into the cafe and the park.

However, with any profit from the summer now being used to pay for the break-in, next winter could see the cafe run into financial difficulty and it may have to close.

Barry Worth, chairman of the board of volunteer directors, said: “This could put the long-term future of the cafe in jeopardy which would be a great loss to the area, particularly the disadvantaged in the community that we support through various projects. Although we will be OK this winter, by next winter we may have to close.”

Anyone with information should contact PC Ben Hitchens at Shirley Police station on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Comments (18)

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4:52am Wed 16 Jul 14

huckit P says...

Is society to blame for all of this? Society is US. If society is to blame then we are all to blame. We are to blame for going soft on stupid, moronic idiots when they needed a harsh lesson. Until the punishment fits the crime the situation will not improve. Until there are deterrents for mindless vandalism it will continue unabated.
You only have to look at the nonsensical sentences handed out in or courts, day in day out. Sentneces that are simply laughed at or shrugged off. Tags are treated almost like a badge of honour. They wouldn't be considered a soft option if they had a large ball and chain attached though. A slap on the wrist is not enough. It really is time to get tough and I think whichever political party makes life really tough for criminals will enjoy a long run at #10. And while they are at it they should denounce and sack any judge that allows foreign hardened criiminals to remain in this country on the pretext of his or her Human Rights. Rant over!
Is society to blame for all of this? Society is US. If society is to blame then we are all to blame. We are to blame for going soft on stupid, moronic idiots when they needed a harsh lesson. Until the punishment fits the crime the situation will not improve. Until there are deterrents for mindless vandalism it will continue unabated. You only have to look at the nonsensical sentences handed out in or courts, day in day out. Sentneces that are simply laughed at or shrugged off. Tags are treated almost like a badge of honour. They wouldn't be considered a soft option if they had a large ball and chain attached though. A slap on the wrist is not enough. It really is time to get tough and I think whichever political party makes life really tough for criminals will enjoy a long run at #10. And while they are at it they should denounce and sack any judge that allows foreign hardened criiminals to remain in this country on the pretext of his or her Human Rights. Rant over! huckit P
  • Score: 108

6:12am Wed 16 Jul 14

bigfella777 says...

They will need roller shutters by the look of it and some good cctv
They will need roller shutters by the look of it and some good cctv bigfella777
  • Score: 58

7:58am Wed 16 Jul 14

FoysCornerBoy says...

As a regular user of the cafe at St James Park, I was saddened by news of the weekend's break-in. As depressed as I am at the desperation of whoever it was that perpetrated the crime, I really don't think it helps when people use events like this to pursue their own rather nasty, authoritarian and xenophobic agenda.

This country incarcerates more people per head of population than anywhere else in the EU and fat good this achieves. I would argue that as our society has become more greedy and acquisitive, so people who are excluded from the benefits accruing from a steady job, university education and home ownership resort to other means for acquiring material goods.

The excellent work of scores of community volunteers based at St James Park is based (witness the recent community games) offer an alternative view of the world; one which values collective ownership, community cohesion and compassion for people who are less fortunate. I hope that this spirit is undiminished by the break in at the cafe and that the wider community rallies round to promote the wonderful facilities at the park.
As a regular user of the cafe at St James Park, I was saddened by news of the weekend's break-in. As depressed as I am at the desperation of whoever it was that perpetrated the crime, I really don't think it helps when people use events like this to pursue their own rather nasty, authoritarian and xenophobic agenda. This country incarcerates more people per head of population than anywhere else in the EU and fat good this achieves. I would argue that as our society has become more greedy and acquisitive, so people who are excluded from the benefits accruing from a steady job, university education and home ownership resort to other means for acquiring material goods. The excellent work of scores of community volunteers based at St James Park is based (witness the recent community games) offer an alternative view of the world; one which values collective ownership, community cohesion and compassion for people who are less fortunate. I hope that this spirit is undiminished by the break in at the cafe and that the wider community rallies round to promote the wonderful facilities at the park. FoysCornerBoy
  • Score: 43

8:05am Wed 16 Jul 14

Datarater says...

Bring back the stocks so we can pelt them with tomatoes and eggs!!!
Bring back the stocks so we can pelt them with tomatoes and eggs!!! Datarater
  • Score: 34

8:49am Wed 16 Jul 14

tommmmy555 says...

Surely they have insurance?

It's obligatory to have public liability insurance and not much more to get the rest.
Surely they have insurance? It's obligatory to have public liability insurance and not much more to get the rest. tommmmy555
  • Score: -23

8:50am Wed 16 Jul 14

jip cr2em says...

Who ever done has no respect I hope they hurry up and get caught parklife cafe and staff are brilliant and work hard raising money I was recently involved in 'community game's event and have now started an art auction on www.facebook.com/cr2
em in which I will be donating 20% towards helping keeping the park and cafe alive iv been going to this park since I was a boy and thieves and disrespectful people like this make the local community worry of the future the park and and cafe 'will NOT be defeated' they have strong people who will help make sure of this I just hope they catch the scum that did this at end of day it's charity funded and in my eyes and others they have not just tried to ruin a great place but they have stolen from the children
Who ever done has no respect I hope they hurry up and get caught parklife cafe and staff are brilliant and work hard raising money I was recently involved in 'community game's event and have now started an art auction on www.facebook.com/cr2 em in which I will be donating 20% towards helping keeping the park and cafe alive iv been going to this park since I was a boy and thieves and disrespectful people like this make the local community worry of the future the park and and cafe 'will NOT be defeated' they have strong people who will help make sure of this I just hope they catch the scum that did this at end of day it's charity funded and in my eyes and others they have not just tried to ruin a great place but they have stolen from the children jip cr2em
  • Score: 24

9:08am Wed 16 Jul 14

Lone Ranger. says...

tommmmy555 wrote:
Surely they have insurance?

It's obligatory to have public liability insurance and not much more to get the rest.
Have you ever tried to insure such a building ? ....... If you can get it the prices are very high indeed, with many hoops to jump through and many exclusion clauses ...
.
Public Liability of course does not cover break-ins or damage ...... but just insurance to a Third Party
[quote][p][bold]tommmmy555[/bold] wrote: Surely they have insurance? It's obligatory to have public liability insurance and not much more to get the rest.[/p][/quote]Have you ever tried to insure such a building ? ....... If you can get it the prices are very high indeed, with many hoops to jump through and many exclusion clauses ... . Public Liability of course does not cover break-ins or damage ...... but just insurance to a Third Party Lone Ranger.
  • Score: 20

9:40am Wed 16 Jul 14

rudolph_hucker says...

FoysCornerBoy wrote:
As a regular user of the cafe at St James Park, I was saddened by news of the weekend's break-in. As depressed as I am at the desperation of whoever it was that perpetrated the crime, I really don't think it helps when people use events like this to pursue their own rather nasty, authoritarian and xenophobic agenda. This country incarcerates more people per head of population than anywhere else in the EU and fat good this achieves. I would argue that as our society has become more greedy and acquisitive, so people who are excluded from the benefits accruing from a steady job, university education and home ownership resort to other means for acquiring material goods. The excellent work of scores of community volunteers based at St James Park is based (witness the recent community games) offer an alternative view of the world; one which values collective ownership, community cohesion and compassion for people who are less fortunate. I hope that this spirit is undiminished by the break in at the cafe and that the wider community rallies round to promote the wonderful facilities at the park.
An excellent and thought provoking post.
[quote][p][bold]FoysCornerBoy[/bold] wrote: As a regular user of the cafe at St James Park, I was saddened by news of the weekend's break-in. As depressed as I am at the desperation of whoever it was that perpetrated the crime, I really don't think it helps when people use events like this to pursue their own rather nasty, authoritarian and xenophobic agenda. This country incarcerates more people per head of population than anywhere else in the EU and fat good this achieves. I would argue that as our society has become more greedy and acquisitive, so people who are excluded from the benefits accruing from a steady job, university education and home ownership resort to other means for acquiring material goods. The excellent work of scores of community volunteers based at St James Park is based (witness the recent community games) offer an alternative view of the world; one which values collective ownership, community cohesion and compassion for people who are less fortunate. I hope that this spirit is undiminished by the break in at the cafe and that the wider community rallies round to promote the wonderful facilities at the park.[/p][/quote]An excellent and thought provoking post. rudolph_hucker
  • Score: 19

9:41am Wed 16 Jul 14

tommmmy555 says...

Lone Ranger. wrote:
tommmmy555 wrote:
Surely they have insurance?

It's obligatory to have public liability insurance and not much more to get the rest.
Have you ever tried to insure such a building ? ....... If you can get it the prices are very high indeed, with many hoops to jump through and many exclusion clauses ...
.
Public Liability of course does not cover break-ins or damage ...... but just insurance to a Third Party
Yes it's expensive, but proper insurance is vital to running a
business... Or unfortunately a fire or break in will put you out of business.

It's horrible that they have suffered damage/loss, but they need to manage the risks to their business.
[quote][p][bold]Lone Ranger.[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]tommmmy555[/bold] wrote: Surely they have insurance? It's obligatory to have public liability insurance and not much more to get the rest.[/p][/quote]Have you ever tried to insure such a building ? ....... If you can get it the prices are very high indeed, with many hoops to jump through and many exclusion clauses ... . Public Liability of course does not cover break-ins or damage ...... but just insurance to a Third Party[/p][/quote]Yes it's expensive, but proper insurance is vital to running a business... Or unfortunately a fire or break in will put you out of business. It's horrible that they have suffered damage/loss, but they need to manage the risks to their business. tommmmy555
  • Score: 19

9:58am Wed 16 Jul 14

sotonboy84 says...

bigfella777 wrote:
They will need roller shutters by the look of it and some good cctv
Tell that to the Police and Council...

The cafe and FoSJP (Friends of St James's Park) do such a wonderful job for the community. Activities from job-searching workshops, local history and oral history recordings to gardening for children are run in the park and community room behind.

The area has a long history of anti-social behaviour and this latest saddening episode is just the tip of the ice burg.

Polish and English gangs rampage around the area which result in turf wars, something the Police are well aware of. Robberies and attempted robberies of park users, park equipment damaged and stolen, a young boy was beaten up and his head jumped on last year, drug deals in the park and the park cafe toilets in broad daylight and groups drinking and taking drugs at night.

The Police will respond to a crime but it's the Council's responsibility to prevent it. The Council have been asked to install lights and CCTV but won't - apparently a lit park will encourage people to use it and anti-social behaviour will increase and CCTV will not work without lighting. Pathetic excuses!!!
[quote][p][bold]bigfella777[/bold] wrote: They will need roller shutters by the look of it and some good cctv[/p][/quote]Tell that to the Police and Council... The cafe and FoSJP (Friends of St James's Park) do such a wonderful job for the community. Activities from job-searching workshops, local history and oral history recordings to gardening for children are run in the park and community room behind. The area has a long history of anti-social behaviour and this latest saddening episode is just the tip of the ice burg. Polish and English gangs rampage around the area which result in turf wars, something the Police are well aware of. Robberies and attempted robberies of park users, park equipment damaged and stolen, a young boy was beaten up and his head jumped on last year, drug deals in the park and the park cafe toilets in broad daylight and groups drinking and taking drugs at night. The Police will respond to a crime but it's the Council's responsibility to prevent it. The Council have been asked to install lights and CCTV but won't - apparently a lit park will encourage people to use it and anti-social behaviour will increase and CCTV will not work without lighting. Pathetic excuses!!! sotonboy84
  • Score: 20

10:15am Wed 16 Jul 14

sallyhr says...

Perhaps the charity can ask for help from security firms to make this brilliant place a secure place. So many hours if volunteering go into these projects only to be trashed by the very people who should be supporting it.
The committee needs to try and pull in help from police, security firms etc etc and also tighten their housekeeping. ie not leaving money, laptops snacks etc in unsafe place overnight. A safe??
I do hope the committee aren't too depressed after this and can pull themselves and the locals together to combat this. Especially as it's happened a second time. Weren't lessons learned??
Good luck
Perhaps the charity can ask for help from security firms to make this brilliant place a secure place. So many hours if volunteering go into these projects only to be trashed by the very people who should be supporting it. The committee needs to try and pull in help from police, security firms etc etc and also tighten their housekeeping. ie not leaving money, laptops snacks etc in unsafe place overnight. A safe?? I do hope the committee aren't too depressed after this and can pull themselves and the locals together to combat this. Especially as it's happened a second time. Weren't lessons learned?? Good luck sallyhr
  • Score: 12

10:23am Wed 16 Jul 14

miltonarcher says...

FoysCornerBoy wrote:
As a regular user of the cafe at St James Park, I was saddened by news of the weekend's break-in. As depressed as I am at the desperation of whoever it was that perpetrated the crime, I really don't think it helps when people use events like this to pursue their own rather nasty, authoritarian and xenophobic agenda.

This country incarcerates more people per head of population than anywhere else in the EU and fat good this achieves. I would argue that as our society has become more greedy and acquisitive, so people who are excluded from the benefits accruing from a steady job, university education and home ownership resort to other means for acquiring material goods.

The excellent work of scores of community volunteers based at St James Park is based (witness the recent community games) offer an alternative view of the world; one which values collective ownership, community cohesion and compassion for people who are less fortunate. I hope that this spirit is undiminished by the break in at the cafe and that the wider community rallies round to promote the wonderful facilities at the park.
The scum that perpetrated this break-in are not desperate, they are selfish, greedy individuals who infest our society. Blaming unemployment is a typical left wing PC comment and insulting to the majority of those out of work. How do you know incarceration is not working? Where is your evidence? Another left wing do gooder comment which cant be backed up with facts. What you would like to do with these criminals is smack them on the wrists and give them a community order. When your back is turned they will laugh and snigger at you whilst planning the next crime spree. Perhaps you would have a more rational view about punishment if you returned home to find your house ransacked. Crime shouldn't pay, make the punishment tough, really tough. Perhaps a short, sharp shock, so scum like this think twice before offending in the future.
[quote][p][bold]FoysCornerBoy[/bold] wrote: As a regular user of the cafe at St James Park, I was saddened by news of the weekend's break-in. As depressed as I am at the desperation of whoever it was that perpetrated the crime, I really don't think it helps when people use events like this to pursue their own rather nasty, authoritarian and xenophobic agenda. This country incarcerates more people per head of population than anywhere else in the EU and fat good this achieves. I would argue that as our society has become more greedy and acquisitive, so people who are excluded from the benefits accruing from a steady job, university education and home ownership resort to other means for acquiring material goods. The excellent work of scores of community volunteers based at St James Park is based (witness the recent community games) offer an alternative view of the world; one which values collective ownership, community cohesion and compassion for people who are less fortunate. I hope that this spirit is undiminished by the break in at the cafe and that the wider community rallies round to promote the wonderful facilities at the park.[/p][/quote]The scum that perpetrated this break-in are not desperate, they are selfish, greedy individuals who infest our society. Blaming unemployment is a typical left wing PC comment and insulting to the majority of those out of work. How do you know incarceration is not working? Where is your evidence? Another left wing do gooder comment which cant be backed up with facts. What you would like to do with these criminals is smack them on the wrists and give them a community order. When your back is turned they will laugh and snigger at you whilst planning the next crime spree. Perhaps you would have a more rational view about punishment if you returned home to find your house ransacked. Crime shouldn't pay, make the punishment tough, really tough. Perhaps a short, sharp shock, so scum like this think twice before offending in the future. miltonarcher
  • Score: 18

11:10am Wed 16 Jul 14

Service-defender says...

Just another day in Shirley. How much longer must we deal with this scum.
Just another day in Shirley. How much longer must we deal with this scum. Service-defender
  • Score: 11

11:13am Wed 16 Jul 14

Service-defender says...

Service-defender wrote:
Just another day in Shirley. How much longer must we deal with this scum.
Sorry bad grammar. Honestly daily echo, add an edit button.

Just another day in Shirley. How must longer must we deal with these scum bags?
[quote][p][bold]Service-defender[/bold] wrote: Just another day in Shirley. How much longer must we deal with this scum.[/p][/quote]Sorry bad grammar. Honestly daily echo, add an edit button. Just another day in Shirley. How must longer must we deal with these scum bags? Service-defender
  • Score: 4

12:55pm Wed 16 Jul 14

Zens_Saint says...

Someone has set up a Just Giving page to help pay for the damage, maybe DE could put that in the
article
https://www.justgivi
ng.com/yimby/parklif
e-cafe-southampton#/
Someone has set up a Just Giving page to help pay for the damage, maybe DE could put that in the article https://www.justgivi ng.com/yimby/parklif e-cafe-southampton#/ Zens_Saint
  • Score: 18

1:59pm Wed 16 Jul 14

burgerboy says...

Estelle Blake wrote:
my mom recently bought a fantastic white Buick Regal Sedan by work part-time using a laptop... you can try this outx.

-----------:>>
>> x.co/54TVe
Yes Estelle Blake,surprising how much money your mum can make from supplying internet p*rn.
now go away and grow up.
[quote][p][bold]Estelle Blake[/bold] wrote: my mom recently bought a fantastic white Buick Regal Sedan by work part-time using a laptop... you can try this outx. -----------:>> >> x.co/54TVe[/p][/quote]Yes Estelle Blake,surprising how much money your mum can make from supplying internet p*rn. now go away and grow up. burgerboy
  • Score: 8

5:17pm Wed 16 Jul 14

Rocket 1 says...

Datarater wrote:
Bring back the stocks so we can pelt them with tomatoes and eggs!!!
Why waste Wood Tomatoes and Eggs, Shoot them...........
[quote][p][bold]Datarater[/bold] wrote: Bring back the stocks so we can pelt them with tomatoes and eggs!!![/p][/quote]Why waste Wood Tomatoes and Eggs, Shoot them........... Rocket 1
  • Score: 8

10:36am Thu 17 Jul 14

Hastagger says...

huckit P wrote:
Is society to blame for all of this? Society is US. If society is to blame then we are all to blame. We are to blame for going soft on stupid, moronic idiots when they needed a harsh lesson. Until the punishment fits the crime the situation will not improve. Until there are deterrents for mindless vandalism it will continue unabated.
You only have to look at the nonsensical sentences handed out in or courts, day in day out. Sentneces that are simply laughed at or shrugged off. Tags are treated almost like a badge of honour. They wouldn't be considered a soft option if they had a large ball and chain attached though. A slap on the wrist is not enough. It really is time to get tough and I think whichever political party makes life really tough for criminals will enjoy a long run at #10. And while they are at it they should denounce and sack any judge that allows foreign hardened criiminals to remain in this country on the pretext of his or her Human Rights. Rant over!
Well said sir. I doff my proverbial cap in your general direction.
[quote][p][bold]huckit P[/bold] wrote: Is society to blame for all of this? Society is US. If society is to blame then we are all to blame. We are to blame for going soft on stupid, moronic idiots when they needed a harsh lesson. Until the punishment fits the crime the situation will not improve. Until there are deterrents for mindless vandalism it will continue unabated. You only have to look at the nonsensical sentences handed out in or courts, day in day out. Sentneces that are simply laughed at or shrugged off. Tags are treated almost like a badge of honour. They wouldn't be considered a soft option if they had a large ball and chain attached though. A slap on the wrist is not enough. It really is time to get tough and I think whichever political party makes life really tough for criminals will enjoy a long run at #10. And while they are at it they should denounce and sack any judge that allows foreign hardened criiminals to remain in this country on the pretext of his or her Human Rights. Rant over![/p][/quote]Well said sir. I doff my proverbial cap in your general direction. Hastagger
  • Score: 2
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