Vandalism at a Bury St Edmunds recreation area is reported to police

The 'mushroom' shaped shelter for teenagers which has had its roof ripped off in an act of vandalism

The 'mushroom' shaped shelter for teenagers which has had its roof ripped off in an act of vandalism. - Credit: Archant

A seating area near a Bury St Edmunds playground has been vandalised, leading to calls for young people to take ownership of the area.

The damaged play equipment at the play area on the Horringer Court estate in Bury.

The damaged play equipment at the play area on the Horringer Court estate in Bury. - Credit: Archant

While it is not yet known if youngsters caused the damage to the metal bench with a roof on the Howard estate, borough councillor Paul Hopfensperger believes it was.

The seating area, which is used as a shelter for teenagers, is next to a basketball hoop and close to play equipment for younger children behind the Newbury Community Centre.

The large metal roof of the bench was ripped off, causing about £500 of damage, and thrown into bushes between Friday and Saturday.

Mr Hopfensperger, an independent councillor for the St Olaves ward, is also concerned about litter at the recreational site, adding a used condom had been found beneath swings and a syringe was discovered in the car park. He suggested work in schools to educate young people to look after sites which are for them to enjoy would help.


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“They need to take ownership of this area themselves. Then they will appreciate it’s their area and look after it,” said Mr Hopfensperger, who reported the vandalism to the police. There was also suspected vandalism at the recently-upgraded Glastonbury Court play area, which is also owned by St Edmundsbury Borough Council, on Friday.

A spokesman for St Edmundsbury Borough Council said: “One of our parks officers has been to inspect both play areas yesterday morning. In so far as the Glastonbury Court play area is concerned, we are not convinced that it is vandalism.

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“There was one piece of equipment detached from the frame and we will be consulting with the manufacturer to get this rectified. The teenager shelter on the Howard estate is, however, vandalism.”

The council is asking people to contact the police with information, and in the meantime the local authority will order a replacement section.

Call police on 101 with the crime reference number BU/15/167.

While the council said it was not aware of condoms or syringes being found in the vicinity of the Howard estate play area, if such items are found it should be reported on 01284 763233 or by email at customer.services@westsuffolk.gov.uk

The spokesman added: “The area is regularly visited and litter cleared from the site. We are happy to work with the community to hold community litter picks as a way of reiterating the message that littering is not acceptable.”

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