'Damage is occurring on an almost daily basis' at two Hartlepool parks
Public toilets in two parks are to be closed early on a daily basis as a result of repeated vandalism.
The toilets at Hartlepool’s Ward Jackson Park and Rossmere Park will close at around 4.30pm from Monday, May 17, while the parks themselves will remain open until later in the evening.
Much of the damage is occurring once park staff have left work at the end of the day and is increasing in frequency with the lighter nights.
The early closures will continue until the end of October when the toilet and park closing times will align.
Richard Harlanderson, from Hartlepool Borough Council, said: “The vast majority of people who visit the parks do so to enjoy the space and treat the facilities with respect, but a small minority seem determined to indulge in anti-social and criminal behaviour.
“We acknowledge that the early closure will cause park visitors some inconvenience and we apologise for that, but we simply cannot let this situation continue.
“Damage is occurring on an almost daily basis, with the vandals smashing soap, hand sanitiser and paper dispensers. Other fittings, including sinks, baby changers and toilets, are also being regularly damaged.
“In the last few months alone, the cost of repairing the damage has exceeded £1,000.”
Parks staff are also having to frequently clean filth from windows, floors, walls and ceilings.
At Ward Jackson Park, the same youths who have also caused severe damage to the bowling green and associated buildings are believed to be responsible for the toilet damage.
Witnesses are asked to contact the police, who are carrying out extra patrols, on 101.