Vandals destroy park play equipment

SECURITY measures in Christchurch Park are today being stepped up after vandals embarked on a spree of destruction, causing more than £6000 of damage.The latest vandalism is the worst case staff at the park have seen following a number of similar incidents in the last six weeks.

SECURITY measures in Christchurch Park are today being stepped up after vandals embarked on a spree of destruction, causing more than £6000 of damage.

The latest vandalism is the worst case staff at the park have seen following a number of similar incidents in the last six weeks. Night patrols and extra security measures have now been put in place as a result.

David Horne, head gardener, arrived at the Ipswich park to find that part of the play area had been smashed up.

The damage to the multi-activity unit is thought to cost around £4000 and it will be at least two weeks before the parts from Finland can be replaced.

A further £2000 of damage was caused when vandals dug a hole in the bowling green, smashed the window of an on-site digger and damaged some fencing panels.

Extra staff have since been employed to patrol the park between 10pm and 2am.

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Mr Horne said: “We have had a spate of vandalism in the last six weeks but it has never been as bad as this. This has been the most destructive.

“It is just so pointless-there is nothing to gain from it. One day these vandals are going to grow up and have children themselves and then they'd understand what this means to people.”

Ipswich Borough councillor Judy Terry, for arts, culture and leisure, added: “We are all sickened and dismayed by these mindless and selfish vandals. This deprives young children of part of an excellent play area and we are sorry for them. The council will be stepping up night-time patrols and is working closely with the police.”

The incident happened some time overnight on Friday and police are urging anyone who saw anything suspicious at the time to contact them.

Anyone with information If you can help, call Ipswich police on 01473 613500 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

Does the damage to the play area affect you and your children? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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