Vandals cause £11,000 worth of damage to revamped Stevenage play areas

PUBLISHED: 07:27 09 August 2018 | UPDATED: 07:27 09 August 2018

About £11,000 worth of damage has been caused by vandals targeting play areas in Stevenage. Pictures courtesy of Stevenage Borough Council.

About £11,000 worth of damage has been caused by vandals targeting play areas in Stevenage. Pictures courtesy of Stevenage Borough Council.

Archant

Revamped play areas across Stevenage have been vandalised, causing more than £11,000 worth of damage and leaving children in danger of being hurt.

About £11,000 worth of damage has been caused by vandals targeting play areas in Stevenage. Pictures courtesy of Stevenage Borough Council.About £11,000 worth of damage has been caused by vandals targeting play areas in Stevenage. Pictures courtesy of Stevenage Borough Council.

Vandals have targeted children’s play areas in the town over the past few weeks, with Stevenage Borough Council concerned young people could be injured as a result of the damage.

Last year the council began a £1.5 million project to refurbish the town’s play areas, and consultation with young people contributed to the improvements.

About £11,000 worth of damage has been caused by vandals targeting play areas in Stevenage. Pictures courtesy of Stevenage Borough Council.About £11,000 worth of damage has been caused by vandals targeting play areas in Stevenage. Pictures courtesy of Stevenage Borough Council.

Play areas revamped so far include Bedwell Park, Bandley Hill, Cook Road, Scarborough Avenue, The Noke and York Road. But some of the new equipment has been deliberately damaged, including being set fire to.

Councillor John Gardner, the council’s executive member for environment and regeneration, said: “We actively engage with youngsters in the town so they can help design their local spaces.

About £11,000 worth of damage has been caused by vandals targeting play areas in Stevenage. Pictures courtesy of Stevenage Borough Council.About £11,000 worth of damage has been caused by vandals targeting play areas in Stevenage. Pictures courtesy of Stevenage Borough Council.

“It is therefore deeply saddening to see the extent of damage to some of our most recently improved sites, and particularly during the summer months when the sites are at their busiest.

“The money we are now having to spend to repair these sites is money we won’t now have to make other improvements for our young people. I would strongly urge anyone who has any information about who is responsible for the damage to contact the police.”

About £11,000 worth of damage has been caused by vandals targeting play areas in Stevenage. Pictures courtesy of Stevenage Borough Council.About £11,000 worth of damage has been caused by vandals targeting play areas in Stevenage. Pictures courtesy of Stevenage Borough Council.

More than £11,000 worth of damage has been caused.

The borough council has issued a warning on Facebook, saying: “The vandalism leaves the play equipment in potentially dangerous conditions.

About £11,000 worth of damage has been caused by vandals targeting play areas in Stevenage. Pictures courtesy of Stevenage Borough Council.About £11,000 worth of damage has been caused by vandals targeting play areas in Stevenage. Pictures courtesy of Stevenage Borough Council.

“While we inspect all play areas on a weekly basis, and respond promptly to reports of issues, it is still possible for a child to be injured as a result of the damage if we have not been made aware of the problem. It is especially disappointing to see spaces ruined that children and young people have helped to design.

“The incidents have been reported to the police and we would like to reassure you that we will be undertaking repairs to the equipment.”

About £11,000 worth of damage has been caused by vandals targeting play areas in Stevenage. Pictures courtesy of Stevenage Borough Council.About £11,000 worth of damage has been caused by vandals targeting play areas in Stevenage. Pictures courtesy of Stevenage Borough Council.

Anyone with information about the vandalism should call police on 101.

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