Vandals leave broken glass under children's play equipment
PUBLISHED: 07:00 13 July 2018 | UPDATED: 16:34 13 July 2018
Archant © 2018
A children's play park is being overrun by anti-social teenagers who are leaving shattered glass under equipment and repeatedly starting fires.
In recent months the play area in Bramley Rise, Beccles, known locally as Chicken Hill park, has been plagued by litter problems and intimidating behaviour from unruly teenagers.
The situation has got so bad that young children have said they are too scared to play there.
Last week the town’s volunteer litter picking group, Beccles Bombles, cleaned up the area in order for youngsters to once again enjoy the facilities.
They also put up an anti-littering sign in a bid to deter repeat behaviour.
However, one week on the poster has been ripped down, set alight, and its charred remains added to the ever eternal pile of bottles, cans and cigarette butts.
Caroline Topping, who helped set up the volunteer group, said: “Literally one week on and there is a lot of litter all over again - it’s our worst spot in the whole town.
“It gets a bit demoralising after a while. We are trying to get children enjoying the equipment only for others to ruin it.”
She added: “There is broken glass below the play equipment and at the bottom of the slide and patches of grass which have been set on fire.
“The children who should be using the slide are literally going to lacerate their legs and arms on the glass.
“They risk the shock and trauma of experiencing that in an area where they should be experiencing pleasure.”
Mrs Topping, who is also a Beccles town and Waveney district councillor, said she had spoken to two young girls who explained they were now too scared to use the equipment.
She said: “The teenagers are down there every night. The equipment is for young children, not teenagers. What’s the point of having the play area if they can’t use it?”
During the litter pick another “worrying” discovery was made as youngsters pointed out a ‘fire pit” in the nearby woodland.
Mrs Topping said: “A fire in a dry wooded area could get out of control very quickly and they could easily be trapped.”
Beccles Town Council is currently considering installing its mobile CCTV system at the play park to act as deterrent.
Mrs Topping added: “It’s an option the council are exploring to see what is going on and who is doing this.”