TWO offices belonging to the Cumbrian Deaf Association in Barrow and Kendal suffered damage by criminals.

Staff belonging to the charity’s Barrow office discovered that its locks had been tampered with on June 14, while their Kendal office was broken into and damaged on the weekend of June 11 and 12.  

The incidents have caused shock to the community as well as staff members.

General manager of the Cumbria Deaf Association Caroline Howsley said: “The deaf community isn’t happy.

“Two buildings going through this. We work hard to maintain them and to give the community a safe space.

“Two times in the same week the community experienced this.

“Communities in Barrow and Kendal feel each other’s pain, each other feel it if one is attacked.

“It has caused a lot of distress and we are looking for ways to get some good activities back into the community.

“The crime commissioner is working with us to have drop-in sessions with officers who know sign language.

“The police and the public have been very kind to us.”

Cumbria's Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall said: “Break ins of any kind in Cumbria are unacceptable but to target an organisation that does such amazing work and supports some of the most vulnerable in our communities is truly despicable.

 “Cumbria Deaf Association work incredibly hard to support deaf and hard of hearing people in our community and even support those who are in Police custody and need an interpreter.

 “They are advocates for the Deaf community in Cumbria – I have met with the team and some of their service users in the past and I am shocked that they have had to suffer from mindless break ins, vandalism, and theft.

 “Those responsible should be embarrassed and ashamed, and hand themselves in.  I would urge anyone with any information to pass it to the police.”