'Mindless' vandals cause £2,000 in damages at popular community play area

PUBLISHED: 09:00 21 November 2016

Richard Wearing with his daughter and Jon Lodge.

Richard Wearing with his daughter and Jon Lodge.

Archant

'Fire, poo and condoms' which have blighted a new £110,000 play area have seen more than £2,000 worth of repairs in less than a year since it opened.

Walford Avenue play area in St Georges has been subject to repeated vandalism since North Somerset Council opened it last December.

Residents from St Georges and North Worle had waited seven years for the park and were looking forward to a brand new, modern play area for their children.

However since it opened in 2015 vandals have terrorised the park, including urinating on and destroying the equipment.

A concerned parent, who did not want to be named to protect themselves and their children’s safety, has set up The Walford Avenue Play Area Big Brother Facebook group to alert other parents to the vandalism.

They said: “We waited seven years for it to be re-built. The last one was vandalised so they tore it down but since the new park opened we have had a number of fires.”

The group has nearly 300 members and counting.

Newest member Richard Wearing, aged 34, said: “In the past few months equipment has been set fire to, poo and condoms have been left around the park and newly-laid grass has been ripped off and thrown around the park.

“The area has a lot of children using it and it is shocking to see it like that.”

Members of the Facebook page have filed a number of complaints with North Somerset Council in recent months, calling for the installation of CCTV cameras to catch the culprits.

A council spokesman said: “The total cost of vandalism is about £2,000.

“This is a popular play area which is enjoyed by many and this mindless vandalism is spoiling the area. We believe it is locals who are causing the damage and spoiling this facility for others to use.”

If you have information about the vandalism, call the council on 01934 888802 or report it anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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