Hours after the inauguration of an embellishment project at the Tal-Qroqq National Pool, parts of the complex were vandalised, leaving staff and management at a loss for words.

Costing over €860,000, the works involved repairs to the pool itself, which had developed a number of cracks, a new decking area, starting blocks and safety railings at the spectators’ stand.

However, barely 24 hours later, when on Wednesday morning the complex was reopened to the public, the staff were shocked to see that the changing rooms used by anybody under-13 had been vandalised. Damages included smashed bathroom fittings and broken partitions and mirrors.

Though a police report was filed, investigations may lead nowhere if it turns out the damage was caused by persons under 14, as they would be below the age of criminal responsibility.

Consequently, the police would not be able to press any charges against them.

Labour MP Luciano Busuttil, who is also Sport Malta chairman, the State entity responsible for this project, vented his frustration that the hard work to improve the facilities was being undermined in such a manner.

“I am at a loss for words. It seems that these acts were committed by adolescents. How could such a thing cross their minds? I cannot understand the motive behind such an act,” he said.

“My biggest disappointment is that in this day and age such things are still happening,” Dr Busuttil added.

He pointed out that incidents like these were very difficult to prevent as the area in question could not be monitored by security cameras due to privacy issues.

Since 2013, more than €3 million have been spent to upgrade the National Pool facilities,  including new changing rooms, water heating systems, a brand new plant room as well as adequate pool covers to reduce energy consumption.

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