Van­dal­ism ram­pant at Bay Roberts park

Coun­cil wants so­lu­tion to pro­tect prop­erty, public

The Compass - - NEWS - BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON

An on­go­ing van­dal­ism prob­lem at a Bay Roberts park was a hot topic of dis­cus­sion at last Tues­day’s coun­cil meet­ing.

To­wards the end of the meet­ing, photos were shared show­ing graf­fiti on play­ground equip­ment, over­turned bleach­ers and benches, drug para­pher­na­lia, and ripped out boards from a pic­nic area. The photos were taken the pre­vi­ous week at the Com­mu­nity Gar­dens, a site where Canada Day cel­e­bra­tions and the Hal­loween Lan­tern Fes­ti­val are typ­i­cally held, among other events.

“It’s cer­tainly dis­turb­ing when you look at the graf­fiti and spray paint,” said Mayor Philip Wood. “Our peo­ple are go­ing in con­stantly re­pair­ing it.”

Wood said po­lice have been made aware of the is­sue and the town’s recre­ation di­rec­tor is work­ing with the mu­nic­i­pal en­force­ment of­fi­cer on iden­ti­fy­ing ways to curb van­dal­ism. Wood said the town em­ploy­ees are check­ing out the cost of ac­quir­ing new cam­eras with in­frared ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

“We’ve had a lot of com­plaints from res­i­dents in near the Com­mu­nity Gar­dens, be­cause there’s a lot of noise,” said the mayor. “To be hon­est with you, it’s prob­a­bly not a nice place to be some of these days, and a lot of peo­ple are fright­ened.”

Other coun­cil mem­bers echoed the mayor’s con­cerns dur­ing the meet­ing. Coun. Bill Seymour said he’s spo­ken with peo­ple in the area. He sus­pects the cul­prits are young peo­ple hang­ing out in the woods at night.

“Right now, we have to catch them. That’s the only way we’re go­ing to stop them,” he said.

Coun. Ge­orge Sim­mons said drugs are ob­vi­ously fu­el­ing these acts of van­dal­ism.

“They’re all lo­cal,” he said. “They’re all very young adults.”

Some of the boards the van­dals re­moved were only in­stalled a few days ear­lier and had not even been painted yet.

Deputy Mayor Wal­ter Yet­man said in­vest­ing in new cam­eras for the area would be a sound move if it can help catch cul­prits in the act.

Seymour later cau­tioned coun­cil to avoid let­ting the acts of a few de­ter the town from hold­ing events like the Hal­loween party or Christ­mas fes­tiv­i­ties at the Com­mu­nity Gar­dens. Oth­ers agreed.

“Right now, we have to catch them. That’s the only way we’re go­ing to stop them.” — Coun. Bill Seymour

NI­CHOLAS MERCER/THE COM­PASS

Graf­fiti on play­ground equip­ment at the Com­mu­nity Gar­dens in Bay Roberts. Coun­cil is grow­ing weary of on­go­ing van­dal­ism at the site.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Boards are shown spread out on the ground next to the pic­nic area at the Com­mu­nity Gar­dens in Bay Roberts.

Graf­fiti stretches across play­ground equip­ment at the Com­mu­nity Gar­dens.

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