MORE than 20 beach huts were vandalised at Barton on Sea, and owners are calling for better security from the council.

Now owner Roy Edwin, 75, has called on the New Forest District Council (NFDC) to help stop these crimes happening again.

Mr Edwin told the Daily Echo: “It is happening quite regularly. We pay a ground rent to NFDC and they have not been down to do anything.

“It is heart destroying, most of us are pensioners.

“We can fix it but with great difficulty. We have to take all the stuff down a big ramp to beachside when they open the gate.

“Hopefully the beach huts are insured, mine is insured which costs £180 a year, it has gone up over the last few years because they keep getting broken into.

“It is soul destroying. You try to keep them as nice as you can, we just painted them.”

The 22 beach huts were broken into overnight on Friday October 2.

Mr Edwin said he pays £500 ground rent to the NFDC but claimed they don’t get anything back.

He has owned his beach hut for six years and said he and his wife use it two or three times a week, all year round.

“They did promise to put CCTV at the top of the cliff, that has never happened,” he continued.

“Even if we had signage to say they are being watched that would help.

“It’s a shame because they are used by people getting on in life and they are sold for around £25,000.

“For nearly over a year there has been something going on down there. Ours has been broken into twice, there has been other attempts.

“We do different things to try and stop them but nobody can hear them down there.

“The NFDC must makes hundreds of thousands of pounds from us. We do everything right but it always happens.”

A spokesperson for the NFDC said: “More than 20 of the privately owned beach huts at Barton on Sea were vandalised over the weekend in what is believed to be random break in attempts.

“The beach huts are privately owned and the owners are responsible for making sure they are secure.

“We work with the police, neighbourhood teams and beach hut owners to deal with and prevent incidents. Owners are advised not to leave valuables in the huts overnight.

“Where necessary we have employed additional security teams as a short term measure. The beach is open to the public at all times and unfortunately the council is not able to sustain permanent security patrols for private property.

“We ask that people who use the beach report any criminal activity to Hampshire Police on 101.”