Thurso vandalism sparks po­lice hunt

Po­li­cein­volvedas­coun­cil­lorhit­sou­tat­dam­age

The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands) - - LOCALNEWS - BY SCOTT MACLENNAN

The “mind­less” vandalism of a north High­land chil­dren’s play park is be­ing in­ves­ti­gated by po­lice.

The in­ci­dent s aw pro­tec­tive mats from un­der the swings were torn up, lit­ter emp­tied from bins and spread across Fraser’s Park on the Pen­ny­land Es­tate in Thurso.

Thurso and Caithness coun­cil­lor Struan Mackie, who is rais­ing the in­ci­dent at High­land Coun­cil next week, has hit out at the van­dals, say­ing “I am in­cred­i­bly saddened by the mind­less vandalism of the Fraser’s Park.”

He said: “Lit­ter from the refuse bins have been emp­tied across the play­ing field, with the rub­ber crash mats ripped up from the ground and now ly­ing at the en­trance to the park.

“The place looks in a ter­ri­ble state and will come as a shock for users as the week­end ap­proaches.”

A High­land Coun­cil spokes­woman said: “We urge any­one with any in­for­ma­tion to come for­ward and con­tact the po­lice who are in­ves­ti­gat­ing this in­ci­dent.”

Mr Mackie said the vandalism does not just de­stroy the amenity

“Ihopewe­can en­surethatthose re­spon­si­ble­foot the­bill”

af­forded by the park but af­fects the lo­cals who use it.

He said: “Our play parks are unique spa­ces in the com­mu­nity where peo­ple of all ages can come together, they are val­ued by users but also act as im­por­tant green spa­ces for ev­ery­body in the area.

“Fraser’s is a busy part of Pen­ny­land and the park sits on the main thor­ough­fare be­tween the North of the es­tate, Castle­green Road, the lo­cal con­ve­nience store and the School.”

The lat­est in­ci­dent comes af­ter a se­ries of in­ci­dents that have blighted the area lately, ac­cord­ing to Mr Mackie.

A com­mu­nity seat con­structed as part of dry­s­tone walling fes­ti­val has been dam­aged three times, and last Oc­to­ber po­lice ap­pealed for in­for­ma­tion af­ter seven cars were dam­aged in a spate of vandalism.

Mr Mackie said:“The dam­age is clear to see for ev­ery­body and re­gret­tably it comes as the most re­cent oc­cur­rence of in­creased an­ti­so­cial be­hav­iour in the area.”

He added: “I hope that with the co­op­er­a­tion of the po­lice, lo­cal schools and the coun­cil we can en­sure that those re­spon­si­ble foot the bill and not the tax payer.”

‘TER­RI­BLE STATE’: Fraser’s Park on the Pen­ny­land Es­tate in Thurso had crash mats ripped from the ground and rub­bish strewn across it

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