Call for action as play area again targeted by vandals

The Mayor, Alderman Gareth Wilson and a member of staff inspect the damage
The Mayor, Alderman Gareth Wilson and a member of staff inspect the damage

Ongoing vandalism at Tandragee Play Park is costing thousands of pounds on a rolling basis to repair, the Lord Mayor, Alderman Gareth Wilson has said.

Mr Wilson was speaking after the latest incident last night (Monday) in which sections of soft surfacing were ripped up, swing seats destroyed and bottles smashed.

He said, “The centre manager Karen alerted me this morning and the park maintenance officer Jason has been busy cleaning up smashed bottles and also replacing swing seats.

“You can see in the images the huge sections of soft surfacing that have been ripped up. Four swings seats had to be replaced at a cost of £70 each.”

This is the latest incident in a long line of acts of vandalism and anti-social behaviour in the play area.

Said the Mayor, “I have asked that council take a very serious look at installing fencing around the park and also CCTV to try and catch those responsible for this type of behaviour and also to dissuade youngsters from engaging in this vandalism.

“The area is for young children and it is certainly not a drinking zone and that is also a concern I will be raising again with the PSNI.

“This shocking behaviour needs to stop and I would urge parents to be better informed of where their kids are in the evenings and what they are doing.”

Police are appealing for information on the incident.

Constable Jay Slevin said,“This senseless act of destruction will cost a significant amount of money to repair and shows an utter lack of respect to local people who use this facility on a daily basis.

“Our enquiries into the matter are ongoing and I would ask anyone with any information which could assist us with our investigation to contact officers at Armagh on 101 quoting reference number 292 25/07/17. Information can also be given anonymously through the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”