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CCTV to be considered after play park is ripped apart by vandals

Constant vandalism costing thousands

Vandals have thrashed and ripped up surfacing at a children’s play park in Tandragee.

Police are appealing for information after damage was caused to the soft play surface and bottles broken around the park sometime between 9pm on Monday (July 24) and 9am this morning (Tuesday).

Constable Jay Slevin said: “This senseless act of destruction will cost a significant amount of money to repair and shows an utter lack of respect to local people who use this facility on a daily basis.

“Our enquiries into the matter are ongoing and I would ask anyone with any information which could assist us with our investigation to contact officers at Armagh on 101 quoting reference number 292 25/07/17.

“Information can also be given anonymously through the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

Lord Mayor Alderman Gareth Wilson has spoken of his concern saying that the ongoing vandalism in the park was costing thousands of pounds on a rolling basis to repair.

“The centre manager Karen alerted me to this issue this morning and the park maintenance officer Jason has been busy cleaning up smashed Buckfast bottles and also replacing swing seats,” explained councillor Wilson.

“You can see in the images the huge sections of soft surfacing that have been ripped up. For instance four swings seats had to be replaced at a cost of £70 each.”

He added: “The damage done is quite serious and the Council are looking at an alternative soft surfacing system that will be much harder to vandalise.

“It is a shame and disgrace that play equipment for kids can’t be left alone for the kids to enjoy.

“I received a number of complaints about anti-social behaviour in this area and I have asked that council take a very serious look at installing fencing around the park and also cctv to try and catch those responsible for this type of behaviour and also to dissuade youngsters from engaging in this vandalism.”

He concluded: “I will again request that the necessary steps are taken to repair this damage and also to look again at measures that will better protect the play equipment.

“The area is for young children and it is certainly not a drinking zone and that is also a concern I will be raising again with the PSNI. This shocking behaviour needs to stop and I would urge parents to be better informed of where their kids are in the evenings and what they are doing.”

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