Cas­tle bosses act to halt van­dal­ism

Po­lice warn cul­prits they will be ‘treated ro­bustly’

The Arran Banner - - Front Page - Hugh Boag ed­i­tor@ar­ran­ban­ner.co.uk

Bosses at Brod­ick Cas­tle have stepped in to halt the on­go­ing van­dal­ism and mis­use of the new ad­ven­ture play­ground.

They have in­stalled CTTV cam­eras to catch the cul­prits dam­ag­ing the new Isle be Wild park af­ter it closes at night, thought to be lo­cal young­sters.

Wil­ful dam­age

In the past week, dur­ing their daily safety checks, staff have dis­cov­ered wil­ful dam­age to the perime­ter fenc­ing, van­dal­ism to the main tower, re­sult­ing in part of the play­ground hav­ing to be closed to al­low it to be re­paired, dam­age to the zip lines due to over­load­ing and dis­carded rub­bish left across the park.

Safety fenc­ing in the main tower, which rises high into the tree line, and the bridge which crosses over a deep ravine, have both had holes cut into them, which is a ma­jor safety con­cern for of­fi­cials.

Po­lice on Ar­ran, who are in­ves­ti­gat­ing, say they are treat­ing the in­ci­dents very se­ri­ously and warn that any­one caught will be ‘dealt with ro­bustly’.

In ad­di­tion to the dam­age to the fa­cil­i­ties, unau­tho­rised ve­hi­cles which use the long cas­tle drive and grounds as a meet­ing place and race track at night are con­tin­u­ing to be a prob­lem for staff who live on the prop­erty, and for neigh­bour­ing prop­er­ties, who hear the noise of the en-

gines dur­ing the early hours.

Now two CCTV sys­tems have been in­stalled, one to mon­i­tor the play­ground and a sec­ond to cover the main drive by the Na­tional Trust for Scot­land who look af­ter the cas­tle and coun­try park.

In­terim prop­erty man­ager Chris Mills said: ‘Since Isle be Wild opened on Satur­day July 1 we have had a fan­tas­tic re­sponse from vis­i­tors to the prop­erty who have found the play­ground to be an amaz­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

‘Un­for­tu­nately we have also suf­fered from less de­sir­able vis­i­tors once we have closed at the end of the day. Not only is this un­ac­cept­able be­hav­iour a safety con­cern for those in­volved, but it raises real is­sues for chil­dren wish­ing to en­joy the play­ground the next day.

‘For the staff that live on the prop­erty the nightly ac­tiv­ity of cars rac­ing along the drive, park­ing near their homes and the noise from the ‘play­ing’ in the play­ground has be­come a mat­ter of great con­cern. As a re­sult a CCTV sys­tem has been in­stalled in the play­ground to mon­i­tor when and who en­ters af­ter the park closes and the lo­cal po­lice have been in­formed. A sec­ond CCTV sys­tem has also been in­stalled on the main drive to cover all ve­hi­cles en­ter­ing and leav­ing the coun­try park overnight.’

Mr Mills added: ‘This ac­tiv­ity has to stop. Our pri­mary con­cern is for the safety of all our vis­i­tors and this be­hav­iour, by a mi­nor­ity, is en­dan­ger­ing this. The team here at the cas­tle are very keen to en­sure that every­one can en­joy the park and grounds and we want to pro­mote a warm wel­come for those want­ing to visit the Coun­try Park as long as it is done in a re­spon­si­ble fash­ion.’

Act­ing is­land po­lice sergeant Allen Gow said: ‘We are ac­tively look­ing into all the in­ci­dents which have been re­ported to us. These ap­pear to be the acts of young per­sons which we are treat­ing very se­ri­ously.’

He urged any­one with any in­for­ma­tion to con­tact Lam­lash po­lice of­fice us­ing the non-emer­gency 101 num­ber but added that any­one wit­ness­ing an on­go­ing in­ci­dent should not hes­i­tate to dial 999.

01_B30­park01

The Isle be Wild play­ground which has been hit by van­dal­ism.

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