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Sandwich Guildhall closed after 'personal attack' on staff member


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A town hall has shut its doors today after a 'personal attack' on a member of its staff.

Posters on the doors of Sandwich Guildhall confirm the incident, which is understood to have happened shortly before 9am.

The Mayor of Sandwich Cllr Paul Graeme told KentOnline a two litre bottle of water was thrown through an office window, hitting a member of staff and showering them with glass.

He confirmed the incident has been captured on CCTV and the motive is "unclear".

He said: "The member of staff was superficially injured but with no life changing problems.

"It has all been caught on CCTV and police are making enquiries.

"We'll be considering the aspect of security in the future and whether offices need to be re-located within the building so that security can be tightened."

Two police vehicles pictured at Sandwich Guildhall after the attack
Two police vehicles pictured at Sandwich Guildhall after the attack
A window at Sandwich Guildhall appears smashed
A window at Sandwich Guildhall appears smashed

He continued: "This sort of incident is not one we experience in Sandwich on a regular basis.

"We need to make sure we look after our staff so the Guildhall will not be open to the public for the forseeable."

At 11.30am, police and forensics were still in attendance and an officer could be seen photographing a smashed window on the Cattle Market side of the Grade II* listed building.

A police spokesman said: "Kent Police was contacted at 8.35am on Tuesday, November 16 following a report that a bottle had been thrown through a window in Cattle Market, Sandwich.

"Initial enquiries into the circumstances surrounding the incident are under way."

The doors of Sandwich Guildhall are closed to the public today
The doors of Sandwich Guildhall are closed to the public today
A number of posters have been placed on the exterior of the building
A number of posters have been placed on the exterior of the building

The Guildhall is the office of Sandwich Town Council, with up to 10 members of staff usually working there. It opens daily to the public, offering tourist information and general advice on town matters. It is also used by private hirers.

The incident comes after four councillors resigned from the council last week.

Last month, Dover and Deal MP Natalie Elphicke called for zero tolerance of threatening and abusive behaviour to public service workers.

Her plea came after the killing of colleague Sir David Amess and others repeatedly receiving poisonous messages.

She said at the time: “Too often some people subject public sector workers, including members of Parliament, to abuse and insults as well as threats of personal and physical violence.

Police outside Sandwich Guildhall after the attack on a member of staff
Police outside Sandwich Guildhall after the attack on a member of staff
A police officer is seen photographing a smashed window on the Cattle Market side of the Grade II* listed building
A police officer is seen photographing a smashed window on the Cattle Market side of the Grade II* listed building

"That includes people working on our local trains, in our shops and at doctors' surgeries.

“The shocking attack on Sir David Amess must be a final wake up call that it’s got to stop. It’s now time for this issue to be dealt with fully and properly.

"Whatever, the public facing role is, people should be able to work in safety.

"Personal attacks of any kind are simply not acceptable.”

Read more: All the latest news from Sandwich

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