Vandals smear play park with toiletries intended for vulnerable people

The rubbish underneath the pirate ship in Breckland Park Road toddler play area on March 23, 2022

The rubbish underneath the pirate ship in Breckland Park Road toddler play area on March 23, 2022, cleaned up by Costessey Town Council vice-chairman Gary Blundell - Credit: Gary Blundell/Brittany Woodman

Toothpaste and shower gel earmarked for people in need was nabbed by yobs who later daubed it across a toddler play park.

The vandalism in Breckland Road Park, Costessey, was believed to have taken place in the early evening of March 23 after a "distressed" person reported the damage.

Equipment at the park was smeared with toiletries snatched from the nearby Costessey Library, which leaves out essential items for those in need.

Costessey Town Council member Gary Blundell.

Gary Blundell, vice-chairman of Costessey Town Council - Credit: Brittany Woodman

Gary Blundell, vice-chairman of Costessey Town Council, which looks after the park and play area, called for security cameras to be installed at the site to prevent future vandalism.

Mr Blundell, who cleared up the mess, said: "I don't understand the mentality of people that destroy things like this.

"It beggars belief when we as a town council try to improve the area for everybody.

"The toddler play park is enclosed and fenced off and people decide to hang around areas designed for children aged six and under.

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"The vandalism didn't put the equipment out if action but a child could have slipped or had an accident."

He added the shower gel and toothpaste were removed from clear plastic bags of essential items available in the library nearby for people to pick up.

It appeared the bags had been used to smear the toiletries over the equipment and clothes in the bags were also removed and strewn in an enclosed space below a play pirate ship.

Mr Blundell added the toddler play area had been targeted in the past by vandals including cigarette buts being left underneath the ship, obscene graffiti being drawn on equipment and the ship's mast being snapped off.

"It isn't big and brave. It is petty. Young children need to have fun in an area that is safe," he said.

The play area is close to equipment designed for older children, which includes a dedicated graffiti board.

A new play area is under construction on Breckland Road in Costessey. Town Council chairman Dan Burr

A new play area is under construction on Breckland Road in Costessey. Town Council chairman Dan Burrill by the site. Byline: Sonya Duncan - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Dan Burrill, town council chairman, said: "I'm disappointed. It is possible it is a reflection of the fact there is not a lot for some people to do in the area. We try to do what we can though."

Mr Blundell said the incident had not been reported to police.