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Mayor urges respect for play parks following vandalism

10 August 2020

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Cllr Brian Tierney, has asked the public to be respectful after a number of acts of vandalism in local play parks.

Mayor Tierney said that it was ultimately the young children of the district who were suffering following incidents of equipment being destroyed.

"These acts of wanton vandalism and anti-social behaviour are quite frankly despicable and unacceptable, and I would urge the small minority responsible to take a step back and reconsider their actions," he said. "In recent years, Council have invested a significant amount of money in play parks across the city and district, and it is extremely disheartening to see expensive equipment being destroyed which is not only costly to replace, but also has a negative impact on the local community.

"In the end it is our young children who suffer as a result of these mindless actions – losing out on a top-quality facility where they are able to enjoy themselves, get some physical exercise and safely socialise with their friends.

Mayor Tierney continued: "Unfortunately, a lot of these acts have been carried out by some younger people within our district and so I would also appeal to parents to please be vigilant and to be aware of your children's whereabouts at all times.

"It's also important to note that as part of the play parks' Covid-19 guidelines in place, children should be accompanied by an adult at all times when using Council's play parks.

"I know that since they have been able to reopen, our play parks have been full of happy children and parents and it is a real shame that that has been disrupted.

"Once again to those responsible I would say you are only hurting your own community with senseless actions that are detrimental to all."

Emma Barron, Council's Parks Manager, added: "Council's parks team have worked extremely hard in recent months to be in a position to reopen all of our play parks in a safe way for everyone to enjoy.

"It's a real shame that already we have seen a number of acts of vandalism that are rendering expensive pieces of equipment totally unusable which cost significant money to replace and also mean that the community are missing out if the park has to be temporarily closed.

"We would appeal to everyone to respect the facilities and the guidelines in place so that our play parks are an enjoyable and safe space for all."

To report an act of play park vandalism, call 02871253253. For more on Council play parks, visit https://www.derrystrabane.com/Subsites/Parks-and-Open-Spaces/Parks