Mother's shock as vandals deface children's play area with black hair dye
- Credit: Laura Oakes
Permanent black hair dye was used to deface a popular children’s play area which has been “plagued” by vandals.
Laura Oakes visited the play area with her five-year-old daughter on Repton Avenue in Old Catton, on Monday June 7, when she came across a strange black substance which had been used to write offensive language and inappropriate images.
The 36-year-old then came across an empty hair dye tube that had been discarded on the ground. Fearing for the safety of the children using the equipment, Mrs Oakes and her partner took it upon themselves to clear it up.
But she said this is not the first time the play area has been targeted by vandals.
Mrs Oakes said there has been mini fires, graffiti left in marker pens and bins destroyed and she fears the park – which is used by many families within the community - will come under threat if it continues.
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“All of our children in the community use it and they love it," she said. "It's just such a shame.
“Obviously you don’t want those words plastered across children play equipment but it was the spitefulness of the product used.
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“It was out to cause as much disruption as it could and it was strategically placed so it would get on children playing.
“It was put on handles, seat pads of the seesaw. It’s cruel and it shouldn’t have been done.”
Despite the mother-of-three's efforts to remove the hair dye, the offensive words remain stained on the equipment and she hopes Broadland District Council can help to remove it.
But Mrs Oakes says more to be done to stop the vandals from striking again.
A council spokesman said: “Sadly we received reports from the community about vandalism at one of our play areas.
“A member of our team has visited yesterday and cleared the offensive graffiti.
“While we have no plans to remove play equipment, unfortunately, this is the third occurrence of this type, and so we would ask any members of the public who see acts of vandalism or anti-social behaviour being committed to report them to the police or us directly, so we can ensure our parks remain family-friendly.”