Essex: Vandals who caused £1,300 damage to children’s playground are branded “mindless”

PUBLISHED: 08:23 12 May 2011

Vandalism to Play Equipment

Dunmow

May 11, 2011

Photograph by Michael Boyton

Pic shows: David and Keith inspect the area where the vanalised play equipment was located.

Names (L-R): David Green (deputy Town Clerk); Keith Wheatcroft (groundsman).

Vandalism to Play Equipment Dunmow May 11, 2011 Photograph by Michael Boyton Pic shows: David and Keith inspect the area where the vanalised play equipment was located. Names (L-R): David Green (deputy Town Clerk); Keith Wheatcroft (groundsman).

Archant

VANDALS who caused £1,300 damage to a popular playground, endangering the children who use it, have been branded as “mindless”.

Yobs destroyed a rocking horse on the Talberd’s Ley site by ripping it from its stand. The play feature had only recently been repaired after its head was kicked off in a previous incident.

Deputy clerk to Dunmow Town Council David Green said it was “beyond belief” that this type of incident would happen in the town.

“It is a sickening act of stupidity,” he told the Broadcast.

“The bill to repair it the last time only went through on Thursday and now we’re going to have to pay about £1,300 to either replace or repair it.

“The council had just spent £400 on safety surfacing under the rocking horse because it is such a popular site. The children loved it so much. This has endangered those who use it.

“Now we have to spend the taxpayer’s money to repair or replace it, instead of spending it on something more positive.

Investigating officer Pc Nicola Lark said: “This was an act of mindless vandalism. The play equipment in the park is there for the benefit of the entire community, and this criminal behaviour will cause a great deal of upset to young children who use the play area on a regular basis.”

The incident, which occurred some time between 10.30pm on Saturday and 9am on Monday, is the second act of vandalism to council property in as many months. In March vandals destroyed a picnic bench at the Chelmer Valley Picnic Site, causing £800 damage.

● Anyone who witnessed or who has information about the crime is urged to contact Dunmow police station on 0300 333 4444, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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