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Search for witnesses after ‘mindless destruction’ of play park just days after it opened

North Walsham play park was vandalised. Pictures: North Walsham Town Council

North Walsham play park was vandalised. Pictures: North Walsham Town Council

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Vandalism to a state-of-the art £90,000 play park just days after it opened has been described as “mindless destruction”.

North Walsham play park vandalised. Pictures: North Walsham Town CouncilNorth Walsham play park vandalised. Pictures: North Walsham Town Council

The new children’s play area at the Memorial Park, off Yarmouth Road, in North Walsham was officially opened on Saturday, December 1.

The North Walsham Play (NWP) community group said on its Facebook page: “As you can imagine, we are all very disappointed that anyone would consider doing this.

“We are working with the contractor, installer and Norfolk police.

“This will not stop us on our mission to bring about new and exciting play parks for all. Too many people have given too much to let a few mindless vandals get away with this.”

The official opening of the play park in North Walsham. Picture: John Newstead PhotographyThe official opening of the play park in North Walsham. Picture: John Newstead Photography

The park is now back in operation while the group sorts out how to repair the damage.

The group’s trustee and founder Matthew Smith added: “I feel a bit gutted. They were two standalone play panels.

“We don’t know how much it will cost to repair. It’s not just the panels. They cut into the surface so it will be quite a big job.

“It was done with a lot of force by up to six people, we believe. They are made to be very robust, but they have bent and ripped them off.”

The play park was created by NWP and North Walsham Town Council, whose spokesman said: “I am speechless and saddened to report that the vandals have hit once more.

“We would really like to catch the people who felt they had a right to do this, so if anyone has any information please let us know.

“Groundsmen have removed the sides and poles and put resin over the sharp edges as a temporary measure until repair is complete. Parts have been ordered, but we need to put an end to this mindless destruction.”

A Norfolk police spokesman said: “An incident of criminal damage occurred between 10pm on Monday, December 3 and 12pm on Tuesday, December 4 where suspect(s) ripped off the sides of a children’s play castle at the park.”

Anyone with information should call Norfolk police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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