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Vandals ignoring Tier 3 lockdown and destroying town’s playgrounds

Written by on 02/11/2020

A Barnsley Labour candidate has slammed the “mindless” vandals who destroyed a children’s play area.

Kevin Osbourne shared pictures of the damage caused at Station Road play area on Saturday (October 31) and stated: “Those who commit it (and condone it) deserve no place in our community.”

Blackened flooring can be seen on the images with burnt cardboard and waste scattered all over the kids park.

Mr Osbourne also slammed residents who went out last night for their behaviour in the park.

He said: “Station Road play area in Low Valley. This isn’t ‘high spirits’, this isn’t rough diamonds or lovable rogues. This is wanton, mindless vandalism and those that commit it (and condone it) deserve no place in our community.”

He added: “Residents with children that went out last night to ‘have a laugh’ need to think long and hard about the true consequences of behaviour such as this. It will be cleaned up, it will be repaired, but it diverts valuable resources from things that make life better in our patch.”

It comes after reports that there has been widespread abuse of ‘Tier 3’ coronavirus restrictions in Barnsley’s public parks with residents breaking rules over households mixing and gathering in groups larger than six – with vandalism problems also causing a worry.

Barnsley Council has a network of parks, including the flagship Locke Park near the town centre and Elsecar Park, which has featured in league tables of the nation’s favourites, along with a network of play areas and sports fields.

But the authority has now been forced to issue an appeal for people to obey the health restrictions and respects the parks to avoid potentially harming themselves as well as others.

In a blunt statement the council said: “We are proud of our parks and recognise their importance to the physical and mental health of our residents, particularly during the pandemic.

“It is a shame that we’ve seen many instances of people breaching Covid-19 regulations by meeting other households in groups of more than six, committing anti social behaviour and arson across several parks, damaging equipment and the environment.

Abuse: Teen gangs are said to gather at Genn Lane and start fires in the play area

“These actions are dangerous to those doing them and those around them, including innocent passers-by who are trying to enjoy our parks and green spaces.”

One of those affected is a play area and skate park at Genn Lane, Ward Green, where fires have been started on a surfaced area and bins set alight.

Drunken teenagers have been blamed by locals as those mainly responsible for the problems.

Mr Osbourne has also urged anyone with information to contact South Yorkshire Police.