Playgrounds wrecked by ‘mindless’ vandals

Fire-damaged play tunnel at Overn Avenue play area PNL-140730-180208001
Fire-damaged play tunnel at Overn Avenue play area PNL-140730-180208001

A councillor has urged people to help catch the “mindless” vandals who caused damage at children’s playgrounds that will cost council tax payers thousands of pounds.

Play equipment was set on fire in the Overn Avenue play area in Buckingham and in Aylesbury’s Riverside Walk play area, on Meadowcroft.

In Buckingham, vandals set fire to the play tunnel in the Overn Avenue play area, causing an estimated £800 worth of damage.

Council officers believe the playround was struck between July 15 and 22.

The damaged play equipment has been boarded up and the Aylesbury Vale District Council (AVDC) community spaces team are looking at options for repairing it.

In Aylesbury, a large nest swing suspended from a wooden frame was set on fire at about 5pm on July 22.

A fire crew had to be called to put out the blaze, which was started by someone placing dried grass in the swing and lighting it.

The cost of repairing the damage is estimated at £1,700.

AVDC cabinet member for leisure Howard Mordue said: “I know local residents will share our anger at this vandalism and we would urge anyone with information to contact the police as soon as possible.

“We have improved a number of our play areas across the district in the last few years so that young families have safe and up-to-date play equipment to enjoy.

“It is totally unacceptable that a mindless minority destroy and spoil these facilities and they should not be allowed to get away with it. We have to pay for damaged equipment to be repaired or replaced – money we would prefer to spend on continuing to improve facilities.”

Call the community spaces team on 01296 585235. Call the police on 101 or call Crimestoppers in confidence on 0800 555 111.