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Vandals destroy children's play area five days after it was built
A children’s play area has been destroyed in Bowes Park just five days after it was installed.
Bowes Councillor Alan Sitkin, who applied for £3,000 funding to pay for the seating space, said vandals have “betrayed” their own community in the act.
Fifteen mini mushroom-shaped tables and chairs were put in Tile Kiln Lane Open Space in Tile Kiln Lane on Saturday, July 21, in a bid to make the area more child-friendly.
However, just days later, three wooden seats were discovered strewn on the park’s ground, and the rest were stolen.
Cllr Sitkin believes vandals made off with the wooden furniture to make a quick buck.
He said: “They have betrayed their own community. They were for little kids, it’s heartbreaking.
“It is a sad story, you try to make a difference, it is terrible.”
He was concerned about the risk of theft, and had made sure the wooden mushrooms were nailed into the ground.
He said: “A few people had been involved to create a lovely little playing space in an area where they is not much.
“If you put in a park bench which is big and ugly, people won’t want to steal it but we put in something attractive and people steal it.”
The space was especially intended for pupils at Oakthorpe Primary School, which is just yards away. However, they children broke up from school on Thursday, July 19, days before it was installed.
The act has been reported to the police, who are investigating CCTV footage from the scene.
The Labour councillor said: “We are trying to find the people who did it and if they CCTV comes out I would love to throw the book at them.”
The money for the seating area had come from environment company SITA.
Cllr Sitkin said he may have to replace the benches with cheaper park benches which are less appealing to thieves.