Bromsgrove playground closed after vandals left equipment unsafe to use

Bromsgrove playground closed after vandals left equipment unsafe to use

MISSING: Swings have been taken from Stoke Heath Recreation Ground in Bromsgrove. To buy this photo, BMM331405a, visit bromsgroveadvertiser.co.uk/pictures.

Stoke Heath Recreation Ground was left damaged and without swings.To buy photo, BMM331405b, visit bromsgroveadvertiser.co.uk/pictures.

Ropes on the climbing equipment in Stoke Heath Recreation Ground have been cut. To buy this photo, BMM331405a, visit bromsgroveadvertiser.co.uk/pictures.

First published in News
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BROMSGROVE residents are devastated after play equipment at their recreation ground in Stoke Heath was destroyed and left dangerous.

The damage, which took place between Tuesday, August 5 and Wednesday, August 6 included cuts to climbing ropes, screws were taken out of the equipment and swings had been removed.

Stoke Heath Recreation Ground has now been closed by the parish council who used padlocks to secure the park, which is now unsafe to use.

Bromsgrove District Council is assisting Stoke Heath Parish Council to clear up the damage.

A district council spokesman said: “We can confirm that every piece of play equipment at the site has been damaged and we have recommended that the parish council close it until repairs have been made and parts have been replaced.

“We are meeting with the contractor and parish council this week to run through what this will look like and how long it will take.

“Our Place team has also been on site to support the clean-up operation.”

Residents’ claim travellers broke equipment using hammers and axes after they forced entry onto the site on Saturday, July 26 by breaking down a fence after they were evicted from Charford Recreation Ground.

Chairman of Stoke Parish Council John Ellis said: “Various residents have seen them causing damage to the play area. They are causing criminal damage by breaking down the fence to get into the grounds.”

“The police seem to have a softly, softly approach to these travellers and don’t seem to appreciate the cost to the local community in getting these travellers removed and repairing the damage they have caused.

“I would like to thank Bromsgrove District council for acting so quickly to cleaning and sanitising the recreation ground.”

The travellers were served an eviction order from the courts on Monday, August 4 at 11.15pm and they left the land on Tuesday, August 5 at 9pm.

The Parish Council are now considering new measures to stop future damage.

The 12-month-old playground stands on parish council owned land.

Police are unable to confirm the damage was caused by the travellers.

Anyone with information about the damage is asked to call police on non emergency number 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Comments (3)

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1:08pm Tue 12 Aug 14

DAVID1875 says...

West Mercia Police were made fully aware of this illegal criminal trespass soon after it happened. Quite apart from their negligence in failing to use their specific powers to remove travellers under sections 61 and 62 of the Public Order Act, it is even worse that they clearly stood idly by whilst the whole play area was wrecked! Who do police think committed these crimes if it was not the travellers, especially as witnesses saw travellers committing the crimes. Have Police made any arrests, are any being charged to court?
West Mercia Police were made fully aware of this illegal criminal trespass soon after it happened. Quite apart from their negligence in failing to use their specific powers to remove travellers under sections 61 and 62 of the Public Order Act, it is even worse that they clearly stood idly by whilst the whole play area was wrecked! Who do police think committed these crimes if it was not the travellers, especially as witnesses saw travellers committing the crimes. Have Police made any arrests, are any being charged to court? DAVID1875
  • Score: 6

12:45pm Wed 13 Aug 14

cyber_ferrari says...

I try to be understanding and appreciate the resource pressures faced by Police Forces throughout the country these days. However, it is difficult to remain so when such a blatant disregard for the laws of a civilised (?) country such as ours by a bunch of nomads (travelling under the guise of a traditional and recognised ethnic minority) is permitted to take place by the regional law enforcement agency. This "softly, softly" approach, taken by the West Mercia Constabulary, may have saved their money-men a few pounds; but the cost to the local community as a whole is far greater.
But, I'm sure that there's far greater misdeeds taking place on a daily basis throughout Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Shropshire: for example, an otherwise law abiding citizen inadvertently driving at 36 mph in a 30 mph zone. It's a much simpler task for the Police to go for the easier targets.
I try to be understanding and appreciate the resource pressures faced by Police Forces throughout the country these days. However, it is difficult to remain so when such a blatant disregard for the laws of a civilised (?) country such as ours by a bunch of nomads (travelling under the guise of a traditional and recognised ethnic minority) is permitted to take place by the regional law enforcement agency. This "softly, softly" approach, taken by the West Mercia Constabulary, may have saved their money-men a few pounds; but the cost to the local community as a whole is far greater. But, I'm sure that there's far greater misdeeds taking place on a daily basis throughout Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Shropshire: for example, an otherwise law abiding citizen inadvertently driving at 36 mph in a 30 mph zone. It's a much simpler task for the Police to go for the easier targets. cyber_ferrari
  • Score: 2

12:26pm Thu 14 Aug 14

Asst.Clerk@stoke-pc-worcs.gov.uk says...

Latest news on the Stoke Heath Play Area: A representative from Bromsgrove District Council has been and re-secured the gates into the play area. The site is still considered to be unsafe for members of the public to use and, to prevent any accident, access to the play area is having to be denied until satisfactory repair works have been carried out. An extra chain to one of the gates and red and white barrier tape have been used to draw attention to this. Extra signage to explain this restricted access will be added soon. We hope to have a quote for the repair work required by the end of this week. Therefore, please take care to avoid the play area for now. The Parish Council will not be held responsible for any injuries which may occur from unauthorised access to the play area.
Latest news on the Stoke Heath Play Area: A representative from Bromsgrove District Council has been and re-secured the gates into the play area. The site is still considered to be unsafe for members of the public to use and, to prevent any accident, access to the play area is having to be denied until satisfactory repair works have been carried out. An extra chain to one of the gates and red and white barrier tape have been used to draw attention to this. Extra signage to explain this restricted access will be added soon. We hope to have a quote for the repair work required by the end of this week. Therefore, please take care to avoid the play area for now. The Parish Council will not be held responsible for any injuries which may occur from unauthorised access to the play area. Asst.Clerk@stoke-pc-worcs.gov.uk
  • Score: 3

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