Published: 00:01, 03 February 2018
An award-winning cleaner was sickened to discover that vandals had smeared excrement from babies’ nappies around a toilet block.
Laura Napper, owner of Tenterden Twilight Commercial Cleaning, said a trio of teenage girls had been caught on CCTV trashing the toilets at the town’s recreation ground and spreading faeces around the walls and over the sinks.
The loos, which even have their own Twitter account, are Laura and her team’s pride and joy, but have faced constant attacks by vandals.
Doors have been kicked in and rubbish left strewn around but nothing had prepared Laura for the horror of what she faced when she called in to clean the toilets on the morning of Saturday, January 13.
Details of the unpleasant incident have just emerged and Laura said: “It was very unsightly and offensive as someone had wiped the contents of nappies on the walls and sinks.
“There were bits of nappy all over the floor and a toilet roll dispenser was also broken.”
Mum-of-two Laura added: “I guess the girls’ parents wouldn’t know anything about this but they need to know.
“It was lucky that I went to clean the toilets that morning as I work with people in supported employment who may have been distressed by the mess.”
Laura, a European Cleaning and Hygiene Awards 2017 finalist, whose @Tenterdensloos Twitter account has more than 1,100 followers, said: “We all work so hard to change the perception of public toilets and to ensure that we are not a faceless toilet cleaning service and that people know us.”
The holder of a Gold award in the Loo of the Year Competition 2017 for toilets she cleans in Goudhurst, Laura is committed to making the experience of visiting public toilets a more pleasant one.
She added: “Fortunately incidents like this are rare but it is still a shock. I’m determined to work together with Tenterden Town Council to put a stop to the vandalism.”
Tenterden Town Council (TTC) warned in November that it would be installing high-quality CCTV to combat toilet vandalism.
TTC spokesman Claire Gilbert said: “Following the incident involving three girls at the Recreation Ground toilets, we have passed CCTV images to the police.
“Since upgrading the system, which covers the building both inside and out, the quality of images is much improved, and we are optimistic that the police will be able to track down the culprits.
“The council and their contractor, Tenterden Twilight Cleaning, are determined to do everything they can to put a halt to vandalism at all of the council-owned toilets. Anyone caught offending will be reported to the police and held fully accountable.”
A police spokesman said: “I can confirm that Kent Police is investigating damage to toilets at the Recreation Ground in Tenterden that was reported on 13 January.
"Soiled nappies were taken from a nappy bin and faeces from them was smeared over the walls."
Anyone with information is asked to contact PC Evan Potter on 01843 222289 quoting crime reference ZY/2997/17.
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