Vandalism at beauty spot

GROUPS of problem youths hanging around a mid Suffolk beauty spot are putting children's lives at risk with vandalism and anti-social behaviour, it has been claimed.

GROUPS of problem youths hanging around a mid Suffolk beauty spot are putting children's lives at risk with vandalism and anti-social behaviour, it has been claimed.

Youths have been meeting regularly at Needham Lake in cars and on motorbikes and have been blamed for breaking into the storage shed, vandalising picnic tables, ripping up signs and defacing the area with graffiti.

Cars and motorbikes have also been driven around the picnic areas damaging the grass.

Mid Suffolk District Council is concerned someone could be seriously hurt as a result of the antics after a recent incident saw a picnic table placed on top of a climbing frame and four tables stacked on top of each other.

David Hughes, countryside officer for Needham Lake, said: “Had a child climbed on the tables before the rangers found them early the next morning the tables could have fallen and killed them.

“It took three of us with ropes to safely lower the table from the climbing frame before we could allow the use of the play area.

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“I can't understand why these youths feel they have to damage everything wherever they meet.”

It is believed the group causing problems in Needham Market is made up of the same youths moved on from a car park in Hurstlea Road because of their behaviour.

For the past month the Hurstlea Road car park has been closed between 7pm and 7am in order to prevent the youths gaining access.

District councillor Wendy Marchant said she feared the same action could have to be taken with Needham Lake.

“It would be a shame to have to close it in the evening because in the nice weather families like to go there and sit down,” Ms Marchant said.

Countryside staff are working with police to identify the youths causing the damage.

Many of them are known to have caused damage elsewhere in Needham Market.

Police have the powers to seize vehicles driven by anyone identified as being involved in anti-social behaviour.

Weblinks:

www.midsuffolk.gov.uk

www.suffolk.police.uk

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