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‘Help us protect our play facilities’ – Mayor renews appeal over vandalism

The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Peter Johnston, has renewed his appeal for the public to work with Council and the PSNI to tackle ‘mindless vandalism’ across the borough.

Last month, Council revealed that vandalism had cost £14,000 during the summer months, with play parks, public toilets and walking paths among the community facilities attacked.

Over the course of recent days, further incidents of vandalism have been reported at play areas in Ballymena, Carrickfergus and Larne.

Unfortunately, a polytunnel belonging to The Base charity has once again been destroyed in The People’s Park, while members of the public have reported being verbally abused while enjoying the park in recent weeks.

Similar damage has been caused to a polytunnel at Harryville Community Garden, while safety surfacing has been destroyed at Millbrook play area and fires lit at Windmill play area in Carrickfergus.

Mayor Johnston appealed directly to the local community to help protect the invaluable facilities for children and young people across Mid and East Antrim.

“It is extremely disappointing that, despite Council announcing the really positive news that £400,000 has been set aside to develop vibrant new play areas for our children, a small minority continues to attack the facilities in their own communities.

“We are appealing again to everyone to help us protect and invest in our borough, so that we have facilities and services which will positively impact on the health and wellbeing of our children.

“I would ask parents to keep an eye on where their children are and what they are doing, and for the wider community to report any incidents of vandalism or anti-social behaviour to the PSNI.

“We have so many wonderful outdoor facilities in our borough, and it is up to everyone to play their part in looking after them.”

Information on any of these incidents can be passed to the PSNI by contacting 101. Calls can also be made to the confidential Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.