Yet another spate of vandalism at Blackpool’s landmark park has sparked fury among park users and community leaders.
Yobs have struck at Stanley Park, slashing a trampoline with a blade and damaging swings and other equipment at a playground.
The latest attacks are among a catalogue of damage caused at the popular facility, which has included a previous attack on the trampolines, an attack on the swan boats at the boating lake and damage done to the Charlie Cairoli statue.
South Shore police have today appealed for witnesses to the latest crime with one officer describing it as a “mindless act” and another expressing worries that the offender has been in the park carrying a blade.
And community figures linked to the park say they are at a loss to know what to do about the ongoing incidents.
Hagop Tchobanian, managing director of Blackpool Parks, which runs the trampolines, said: “It is such as shame, I cannot understand it. Everything we have done on the park has been for the benefit of the kids and then this happens.
“We are trying to bring new things for the park.
“I don’t know what we can do about it. It is disheartening that this keeps happening over and over again.
“What enjoyment can they get out of doing something like this? I know it is just a few who are ruining things for the many but the park should be everyone’s pride and joy.
“We will carry on and everything will be back in place for the kids when they come to the park in the lovely weather we are having.
“We have the CCTV in place I believe now and the police are doing their best.”
Elaine Smith, from the Friends of Stanley Park group, said: “I thought this vandalism was quietening down.
“It is a terrible situation. What a shame that a few people spoil things for everyone else who just come to the park to enjoy themselves.
“I do not know what we can do to stop it. We have got CCTV but it would cost so much to extend it and can we justify that money when so many council staff have been laid off due to the financial situation?
“The police have been working hard. They have had officers talking to young people in the park and the park staff do as well. The only other thing I can think of is to go into the local schools and talk to the children there.
“But it is just a few who are doing this sort of thing, most of the youngsters and their families just go there to have fun and enjoy our wonderful park.”
John Blackledge, Blackpool Council’s director responsible for Stanley Park, said: “This mindless vandalism is extremely sad to see. It’s such a shame because so many people work hard to make the park as nice as possible for everybody but it just takes a few people to ruin it.”
The latest incident to the trampolines happened some time between 4pm on Sunday and 9am the following day, and police have valued the damage at about £600.
Meanwhile, police say they are seeing constant damage to the play area.
Sgt Dave Oldfield, of South Shore Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “We have had a few incidents where we have had to remove youths from this area.
“Although there is no evidence that they have come back and done this, it does appear someone has been aggrieved and they have slashed this trampoline.
“There is always damage in the park but this is deliberately malicious.
“It is sad because this is a community facility and a lot of money has been spent improving facilities at the park.
“I am also concerned because whoever has done this was in possession of some sort of sharp object with which they used to slash the trampoline.”
Sgt Oldfield added that officers were regularly patrolling the park and appealed for anyone with any information about the incident to report it to the police.
He said:”We will try to provide a more visible presence from the Neighbourhood Policing Team.”
Jennie Bradshaw, from Blackpool South Shore Police, posted on the police Facebook page: “Stanley Park is a fantastic amenity and I have always felt honoured to be able to police it.
“However, I still cannot understand why a few are determined to ruin it for everybody else. If you have any knowledge of the person responsible, contact Blackpoolsouth.firstname.lastname@example.org.” dddddddddddddddddddddddddd