Darlington residents are being asked to help fight vandalism in the borough’s parks and playgrounds now that the summer holidays are here.
Last month (June) three playgrounds in Darlington suffered vandals causing damage which will cost around £14,000 in repairs.
Alderman Crooks Park in Brinkburn Dene, Eastbourne Park and West Auckland Park have all seen anti-social behavior in recent weeks.
Residents are asked to report any anti-social behavior, including vandalism, to the police.
Councilor Andy Keir, Deputy Leader of Darlington Borough Council, said: “Unfortunately we often see an increase in incidents of vandalism in play areas during the summer school holiday period.
“This is something we want to change, and our law enforcement officers and other staff will be working with police, County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service to tackle this. this behavior and will carry out additional patrols in the play areas.
“However, we cannot do this alone and we ask you Darlington residents to help us. Be extremely vigilant when traveling and report anything suspicious to the police.
“Parents can help by encouraging teens to think twice before getting involved in such antisocial behavior, which will not be tolerated.”
Inspector Dean Haythornthwaite, of the Darlington Neighborhood Policing Team, said: ‘It is truly disappointing that a minority of individuals choose to cause damage to public property which is intended for all to enjoy.
“The police will investigate all reports of criminal damage and I urge anyone with information regarding these incidents to contact the police.”
Ian Hankin, Community Safety Station Manager for the Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service, said: ‘It’s a real shame that these parks are being systematically destroyed by senseless vandalism and deliberate arson.
“Starting fires is both dangerous, unwise and, in some cases, can prevent children from having a facility in which to play safely.
“With the summer holidays fast approaching, we encourage parents to talk to their children about the risks of deliberate fire and the impact vandalism can have on the community.
“Anyone with information about deliberate burning in the area should contact Firestoppers anonymously on 0800 169 5558 or use firestoppersreport.co.uk.”
If you spot anything suspicious, contact the police on 101 or the council’s Civic Enforcement Team on 406999.
To report damaged play equipment, email email@example.com or call 405000.
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