Ipswich: Metal thieves slide to new low in playground

IPSWICH: Metal thieves have sunk to a new low after they stole a children’s slide from a park playground.

The slide was taken from the play area at Gippeswyck Park over the weekend – and council officials and police are still baffled by how the thieves got away with it.

The 15-foot slide is believed to have weighed well over a tonne, but there is no sign of any vehicles being driven over the park to the play area.

It is thought a large number of metal thieves must have carried it across the park – or it was cut up on site in an operation which must have taken some time.

A council spokesman said there are suspicions that the thieves were seen, but they may have been wearing typical workmen’s clothing and people assumed they were carrying out planned maintenance.

Bryony Rudkin, councillor with responsibility for parks and leisure, said: “This is a mean and despicable theft and will spoil a lot of fun for children over the festive holiday. It was also quite a daring theft as this slide was heavy and substantial in size.

“The borough council has been security marking a variety of metal objects across the town, such as monuments and park equipment and this is an ongoing project.

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“We also have CCTV in several locations and are stepping up park patrols. In the meantime, we ask park goers to be vigilant and report anything suspicious to the police.”

A council spokesman said security measures were being introduced on all the council’s metal objects which should enable them to be detected if they were taken to any reputable scrap dealer.

The council is hoping that the slide will be recovered – but if it has to be replaced it will cost about �1,500. Mrs Rudkin said the borough would be keen to replace it early in the new year if the original slide does not turn up.

Sergeant Roger Salmon from Ipswich South West Safer Neighbourhood Team said: “This is a crime that we are investigating. We will look to conduct house-to-house enquiries, talk to scrap metal dealers and increase visibility patrols in the area.”

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call Ipswich South West Safer Neighbourhood Team on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

n Have you fallen victim to metal thieves? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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