Mayor slams play park vandalism

Mayor Stuart Drummond surveys the wreckage with Tracey Jukes, her daughter Jade, 3, Mandy Williams and her grandson Archie Jones, 2.
Mayor Stuart Drummond surveys the wreckage with Tracey Jukes, her daughter Jade, 3, Mandy Williams and her grandson Archie Jones, 2.
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HARTLEPOOL mayor Stuart Drummond and parents have slammed “mindless” vandals who set fire to a new piece of equipment in a children’s play area.

Mayor Drummond hit out at yobs who razed the new play house to the ground in Rossmere Park, Hartlepool, causing £5,000 worth of damage.

The wrecked play house was provided as part of a £90,000 national Playbuilder scheme and which only opened in January.

Mayor Drummond slammed those responsible when he visited the park to see the damage first hand.

He said: “Such behaviour really does stagger me. I just don’t understand what the vandals can possibly get from behaving in such a mindless way.”

His comments were echoed by mum Tracey Jukes, from Mulroy Road, who was at the play area with her three-year-old daughter, Jade.

Tracey said: “It is absolutely disgusting and scandalous to see brand new play equipment destroyed in this way.

“What satisfaction can they possibly have got from doing that? Surely they will have children within their families who could benefit from facilities such as this.”

Police believe the fire happened between 8pm and 9.30pm on Sunday night and are appealing for witnesses.

Mayor Drummond added: “I would urge anyone who noticed a person or group of people acting suspiciously in the area at this time to get in touch with the police immediately.

“I would also appeal to people living in the area to help us protect the play area in the future by acting as our eyes and ears and reporting suspicious behaviour.”

The Rossmere Park scheme was the final of 17 sites across the town to be developed as part of the national Playbuilder programme which provided money to improve community playgrounds.

Please contact PC John Main, of Jutland Road police office, on the non emergency 101 number or call the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.