A community Christmas tree in Angus will not be replaced after being vandalised for the seventh year in a row, leaving locals “up in arms”.
Santa Claus in Montrose, the charity behind the tree, has vowed to permanently remove the tree should the culprits behind the vandalism not be caught.
The tree in Montrose has been subject to vandalism every year since 2017, including three incidents last year when the tree was lit in memory of a local youngster Natasha Clark, who died.
After each incident the charity and local residents have banded together to replace the tree so that it can once again light up the streets of Montrose.
However, after the latest incident on Tuesday chairperson of the charity, Tommy Stewart, has said that the tree will not be replaced.
Mr Stewart added said that he is “absolutely gutted” that the project has come to this adding that it doesn’t make “economical sense” to constantly replace it.
“We have to keep in mind our obligations to the community. We make donations all year round to help the town,” he added.
“We have footage of three people, in the immediate area, one who breached the safety fencing at the rear of tree, while another appeared to be filming the event.
“The person who climbed the fence then climbed into the tree and can be seen attempting to snap the strings of lights with their foot, then grabbing handfuls of lights and snapping them. They all then walked off,” Mr Stewart said.
He added that the CCTV was upgraded just two years ago, and the centre near the tree is “awash” with cameras so hopes they can catch the vandals.
The chairperson added that the wider community is “angry, frustrated and disappointed in the actions of these individuals”.
Police Scotland confirmed that enquiries into the incident are “ongoing” and have asked anyone with information to come forward.
A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “We received a report that the Christmas tree on High Street, Montrose was vandalised around 3.50am on Tuesday, November 28, 2023.
“Enquiries are ongoing and anyone with any information is asked to contact 101 quoting reference 0586 of November 28, 2023.”
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