‘Wanton destruction’ at Chesterfield playground

Vandals have struck at a Chesterfield playground in what has been described as a case of ‘wanton destruction’.

By Michael Broomhead
Wednesday, 26th August 2020, 4:45 pm

Several stepping stones have been removed from the Whitecotes Field play area – leaving three potentially dangerous fixing posts exposed.

The crime has been described as ‘yet another blow’ for the Friends of Whitecotes Field group, which has worked hard over the last few years to raise money to improve facilities in the park, off Hazel Drive.

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Councillor Keith Falconer with two of the posts which have been left exposed after stepping stones were removed from Whitecotes Field.

Liberal Democrat borough councillor Keith Falconer, chair of the Friends of Whitecotes Field, said: “We must have had more than £3,000 worth of damage done to newly-installed items.

“All this has taken many hours of fund finding, managing installations and working with the borough and county councils – all by community-minded volunteers who give their time and skills to help the families of the area.”

He urged anyone who sees vandalism taking place in the playground to call police on 101.

“It’s to everyone’s benefit to stop this wanton destruction to the facilities in the field,” he said.

The exposed posts have now been covered up.

“We all want youngsters to have play equipment – and people complain when there isn’t any or if what there is is substandard.

“The Friends of Whitecotes Field ask neighbours to help look after the play area and to report any anti-social behaviour immediately to the police.”

Fellow Liberal Democrat councillor Maggie Kellman said the removal of the stepping stones had left three fixing posts visible.

“Those stumps are securely fixed into the ground and possibly posing a hazard now,” she said.

“Each stepping stone is substantially built and would have needed considerable effort to remove.”

She described the vandalism as ‘very sad’ and said play areas seem to be in the news ‘for all the wrong reasons at the moment’.

A spokesperson for Derbyshire Constabulary said: “We have received a report of the damage at Whitecotes Field and enquiries are ongoing.

“Anyone with any information is asked to call us on 101, including reference 808-190820 in any correspondence.”

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