Dartmouth drama company missing funds probed
POLICE are investigating claims that thousands of pounds are missing from the account of a South Devon drama company.
Dartmouth based Inn Theatre Company were due to celebrate their 10th anniversary in style this year, but a host of additional events for the town have had to be shelved.
Jane Windsor-Smith, founder of Inn Theatre Company, said she called in police to investigate reports of missing money from their accounts equating to thousands of pounds.
Police say the results of their three month investigation have now been passed on to see if any charges or further action is needed.
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"There wasn't as much as I thought there should be in the account," Mrs Windsor-Smith said.
"That was back in February. It took me a little while to get all the statements together and try to work out what had happened. We then called in the police. And now we are waiting to see what happens.
"This is our 10th anniversary year and we had hoped to really push the boat out and arrange for a lot of additional events in the town centre. That's not able to happen because we simply don't have the money. It is very sad."
Despite the lack of funds the company will be performing outdoors as part of Dartmouth Shakespeare Week.
As well being a highlight of the open air season, a share of proceeds from the event has traditionally been pledged towards local good causes.
"This has had an effect on everybody," said Mrs Windsor-Smith.
"We have had more than 200 people act with us, all the people who give their time for free. What normally happens is we give a charity some money from the proceeds of the event. That's in doubt at the moment because there simply isn't the money."
Twelfth Night will run at Dartmouth Castle from August 7 to 11, and organisers are urging the community to support them.
"These things cost about £13,000 to put on and we are really dependent on the weather. The second year we had really bad weather and we ended up having to put in our own money to keep it going. We have got sponsors this year and are very grateful for all support, we would love people to come and see us in August."
A spokesman for the police confirmed the matter had been passed on to see if any further action should be taken.