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‘It leaves a sour taste’ - families hit out after vandals target play park

PUBLISHED: 13:09 12 February 2019 | UPDATED: 13:18 12 February 2019

The vandalised play train in Attleborough Recreation Ground before the incident. Photo: Attleborough Town Council

The vandalised play train in Attleborough Recreation Ground before the incident. Photo: Attleborough Town Council

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Families in a Norfolk town have expressed their sadness after brand new play equipment was vandalised.

The vandalised play train in Attleborough Recreation Ground. Photo: Attleborough Town CouncilThe vandalised play train in Attleborough Recreation Ground. Photo: Attleborough Town Council

In November 2018, Attleborough Town Council installed a new play tractor at the Recreation Ground on Thieves Lane as part of a drive to improve the play space.

But on Thursday a groundsman discovered the steering wheel ripped from the tractor and dumped into nearby bushes.

The new equipment cost the council £5,960 to install and a spokesman said the incident was “disappointing”.

Camilla Barnard lives on Station Road and said she regularly takes her three-year-old twin sons to play on the equipment.

The vandalised play train in Attleborough Recreation Ground. Photo: Attleborough Town CouncilThe vandalised play train in Attleborough Recreation Ground. Photo: Attleborough Town Council

She said: “It’s just so sad that it’s children’s equipment they’re targeting and it’s tax payers that end up paying for it. The place is starting to look really nice but things like this put a sour taste in your mouth.”

The council has arranged for the tractor to be repaired, and a naming ceremony will held following a ‘Name the Tractor’ competition launched in December, but said vandalism cost it funding which would be better used improving community areas.

A spokesperson said: “Each incident of vandalism uses funding which could be used to enhance the local area for the younger community, not to mention loss of use of play equipment and staff time taken out from other tasks whilst repairs are organised and implemented.

“It is extremely sad, that those who commit these acts of vandalism have not given thought to the consequences of their actions, which deprive the town’s younger residents the opportunity to make the most of the play equipment through these inconsiderate and destructive acts.”

In 2018 the Skate Park, also on Thieves Lane, was closed after vandals used spray paint to deface the ramps and pulled parts from the equipment.

As well as deliberate damage, families in the town have called for a crackdown on dog owners who fail to pick up after their pets, resulting in what one mother described as “a foul amount of dog mess at the recreation ground”.

Anyone with information about vandalism in Attleborough should contact Norfolk Police on 101.

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