Play area vandals have struck for the fourth time in Cotmanhay with another arson attack to trash a basket swing.
Erewash Borough Council’s inspection team discovered the latest fire vandalism on Monday morning (18 April) at Cotmanhay Playing Fields – which comes just a month after a third vandal attack at the nearby Beauvale Drive play area when a basket swing was again set alight.
The latest incident is thought to have happened over the weekend and is the fourth such attack in Cotmany in two years. It leaves the council facing a bill of around £2,000 to replace the swing and repair the damaged safety surfacing underneath. Basket swings are specifically installed as they are fully inclusive, making them accessible for children with limited mobility.
Councillor Mike Wallis, Erewash Borough Council’s Lead Member for Culture and Leisure, says:
“I’m afraid the time has come when it is very, very difficult for me to find the words that adequately describe the frustration, anger and disappointment I feel as we face clearing up more mindless vandalism at our Cotmanhay play areas.
“Barely a month ago nearly £1,200 worth of damage was caused at Beauvale Drive and I said at the time that it may be that we remove the basket swing altogether. Now this happens. These are financially challenging times for local authorities and until someone from the local community comes forward and helps us with the names of those responsible we will not be replacing the basket swings.
“We feel, of course, for those who enjoy and use the basket swings properly. But nearly £3,500 worth of damage within a month? It is mindless vandalism and it can’t go on.”
Anyone with information should contact the police on the non-emergency number 101 quoting crime reference number 16898-16 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.