Mayor appeals to parents after playparks are vandalised

Tue, 02/03/2021 - 09:46 -- Editor

The Mayor of Derry and Strabane, Councillor Brian Tierney, is appealing to parents to talk to their children about the effects of vandalism at local play facilities after a spate of incidents in recent days.Equipment in a number of playparks in Derry and Strabane were damaged at the weekend resulting in the closure of one park at Springhill in Strabane while repairs were carried out. Mayor Tierney today urged parents to remind children that these incidents are impacting on the entire community during what is a very difficult time for everyone."I am calling on parents today to please intervene," he appealed. "The young people behind them are not only putting themselves in danger they are also increasing the chance of injury for other children using damaged equipment. In one incident at Ballyarnett tyre swings were set alight which is reckless and dangerous in the extreme."I know that when the weather improves we always see an increase in this type of behaviour. But this year more than ever during lockdown our play parks and green areas are being used by an increasing number of families and young children. We have come to value these facilities more as an outlet for exercise and recreation and an opportunity to get out of the house for a short time."To cause damage will inevitably lead to their closure and this impacts on everyone in the surrounding area. Not to mention the extra resources needed to address the damage at a time when Council services are already under severe pressure. It is selfish, it is reckless and it will not be tolerated."Vandalism is a criminal offence and any incidents of this nature will be reported to the PSNI for investigation. Council's Community Safety Wardens will also be stepping up patrols around these areas to deter this activity in the coming weeks. Please remind children that their actions can have a wider impact than they think, this is not just a bit of harmless fun, it's an attack on their own community."