Two Bury playgrounds attacked by vandals

Happierr times: Cllr Paul Hopfensberger and residents association chairman  Ernie Broom when the Howard Estate play area was opened in May 2013 ENGANL00120130805141815
Happierr times: Cllr Paul Hopfensberger and residents association chairman Ernie Broom when the Howard Estate play area was opened in May 2013 ENGANL00120130805141815
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Two playgrounds in Bury St Edmunds have been vandalised over the weekend.

Sections were broken off a seat near the two-year-old £32,500 play area near the Newbury Centre on the Howard Estate while a cable was wrenched from a piece of play equipment at Horringer Court play area and litter strew about in both areas.

Damage to play equipment at Horringer Court play area

Damage to play equipment at Horringer Court play area

Paul Hopfensperger, a St Edmundsbury Borough councillor for the Howard Estate, said considerable force had been used to kick a steel roof panel off the seat, which had then been dumped some way off.

He added: “They didn’t touch the play equipment, thank goodness, but when I looked in there it was full of litter. It looked as if someone had emptied a litter bin in there.

“We need more bins there and we’re going to liase with the schools to try to speak to youngsters and educate them to put litter into the bins.

“This is their playground, that they asked to be put in.”

Damage to Horringer Court play area

Damage to Horringer Court play area

St Edmundsbury Borough councillor for the Horringer Court area Richard Rout likened it to the recent rash of graffiti across the town and said: “This spate of vandalism needs to end. Facilities like this make a real difference to lives of families living on the Horringer Court Estate.

“It’s a mindless and despicable act to rob children of the enjoyment that a play area can provide. I can’t suggest strongly enough that anyone with information on who is responsible come forward and tell the police.”

Sarah Stamp, a county councilor for the Horringer Court area, said the equipment damaged there had been robustly built.

She added: “I feel really disappointed, after having lobbied hard to get the investment for the new park, at what can only be described as mindless and thoughtless vandalism.

“Most people love, care and respect this very well used play area but unfortunately once again we are seeing a very small minority try and ruin things for the majority.

“I’m also appalled by the amount of litter in the park today and fully support Cllr Rout’s campaign to address this, whilst realising that more bins and more frequent emptying of them will only work if people are prepared to use the bins in the first place.”

On the Horringer Estate residents’ Facebook page, Cat Trede posted: “Doesn’t surprise me – there have been older kids in the park when the younger ones have gone home. Unfortunately it’s the minority spoiling it for the majority again.”

Suffolk Police have asked anyone with information about the Howard Estate damage to call Bury St Emunds police station on 101 quoting crime number BU/15/1672