'Mindless' vandals target children's play area
PUBLISHED: 17:34 20 December 2019 | UPDATED: 17:34 20 December 2019
Fires have been started, smashed glass has been strewn around and fence panels have been torn down in an act of "mindless" vandalism to a revamped playground.
Diss Town Council workers arrived at the new £110,000 Diss Park on Thursday to find fires had been lit on the playground equipment, smashed glass across the play area and broken fence panels on equipment that has not even been installed yet.
The revamped park had been created with the input from school children who worked with the council to decide the best use of community funds which it then researched different playground equipment.
After several months of work throughout the year the final installations have been put back to the new year because to the damage.
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A town council spokesman said: "The maintenance team arrived at Diss Park yesterday and this morning to find burn marks on the new wobble board, smashed glass and six broken fence panels around the yet to be opened equipment.
"A lot of time and energy has gone into spending the developer contributions from the Longmeadow estate that had to be spent on the 'improvement of physical recreational facilities or equipment for older children within the parishes of Roydon and Diss'."
The vandalism comes just days after the start of the school holiday.
The spokesman added: "Schoolchildren helped to determine the best use of the funds, the community provided feedback, hours have gone into researching different equipment, children have waited several months to use the new equipment and were really excited to explore the large main frame, three-metre high slide and a sitting and standing swing at the opening.
"It's mindless damage to brand new equipment that has been installed for the benefit of the young people in our community. It will be a real shame if the Park has to be closed off again to prevent further damage."
Work begun at the end of September to remove the existing play equipment in the park beside Diss Mere. The play area was closed to the public during the work which took about four to six weeks, reopening on November 18.