Estate vandalism is 'causing upset to young families'

Tassel Road play area on Moreton Hall, Bury St Edmunds, was set on fire three weeks ago and is still closed

Tassel Road play area on Moreton Hall, Bury St Edmunds, was set on fire three weeks ago and is still closed - Credit: Mariam Ghaemi

Vandals who set fire to a play area that is still closed three weeks on "are picking on toddlers," a community leader has said.

The damage to the Tassel Road play park on Moreton Hall, in Bury St Edmunds, is just one recent incident on the estate affecting areas enjoyed by the community.

Bob Houlton-Hart took this picture of the fire at the Tassel Road play area on April 23

Bob Houlton-Hart took this picture of the fire at the Tassel Road play area on April 23 - Credit: Bob Houlton-Hart

A youth football game had to be moved to a different part of the field near the community centre after glass bottles were smashed against a metal seat, said Peter Thompson, the new Suffolk county councillor for Moreton Hall.

He also said equipment at the outdoor gym at Heldhaw Road had been unbolted and "chucked" behind the changing rooms. This has since been fixed.

Mr Thompson, who is also a district and town councillor for Moreton Hall, believes the recent spate of antisocial behaviour is isolated to one or two groups of teenagers.

A youth football game had to be moved to a different part of the field because of smashed glass

A youth football game had to be moved to a different part of the field because of smashed glass - Credit: Mariam Ghaemi


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"These lads need to realise their actions," he said.

"What they are effectively doing is picking on toddlers. The end result is two and three-year-old children cannot use the equipment that has been put in for them."

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He added: "What they think is relatively harmless is really detrimental to young mums and toddlers and people who want to use these areas.

"I would hope that if they recognise how much upset it's causing to young families they would desist from really being pretty stupid."

Mike Kirkham, left, Mayor of Bury Peter Thompson, and town crier Tony Appleton Picture: MARK LANGFO

Councillor Peter Thompson (centre) has said antisocial behaviour on Moreton Hall is 'detrimental' to families - Credit: MARK LANGFORD

He said in the past - not the football pitch incident - children had been injured with cuts from broken glass.

Glass beer bottles were also left dumped at the 'sandy park' off Airfield Road on Monday.

"If they recognise what they are doing and have a bit of sympathy to their fellow man it would stop," said Mr Thompson, who is mayor of Bury St Edmunds.

The Tassel Road play area is awaiting repair

The Tassel Road play area is awaiting repair - Credit: Mariam Ghaemi

Bob Houlton-Hart took a picture of the fire at the Tassel Road play area on April 23.

He said: "I was with my son opposite the playground and noticed billowing smoke. I crossed over the road and saw two people in the distance running away across the park. I rang the fire brigade as did another lady."

Mr Houlton-Hart, who is secretary of the Moreton Hall Residents' Association, said increased litter had also been a problem on the estate.

He added: "There's a lot of thoughtless behaviour going on. People need to be mindful of others. The open space is there for people to use. There's plenty of litter bins."

West Suffolk Council, which manages the parks, was approached for comment.

A sign at the closed Tassel Road play area said the council was "now arranging for repairs to the damaged equipment".

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