Thursday, 19 October 2017

£240 playground gate safety device smashed

VANDALS destroyed a hydraulic damper worth £240 on the gate at a children’s playground — just three days after it

VANDALS destroyed a hydraulic damper worth £240 on the gate at a children’s playground — just three days after it was installed.

The safety device, which ensures that the gate shuts slowly, had been installed at Woodcote village green by the parish council.

The damage was discovered on November 12 by Sam Peates, chairman of the village green management committee, who reported it to police.

The gate had been spring-loaded to stop dogs getting into the playground but the council decided to replace the spring after a child cut their finger on it.

The council has now locked the gate but the playground can still be accessed via a second gate, which is spring-loaded.

It says it will have to install a tougher device at a cost of £1,200 and if this proves robust, it will then buy another one for the other gate. Councillor Geoff Botting, vice-chairman of the council, said the vandals must have used a hammer.

“It was completely smashed,” he said. “It’s pretty poor, really. We can’t just leave it as it is because we don’t want the risk of dogs getting in and fouling the playground.

“The new dampers will be expensive but that’s the cost of vandalism to the local community. A child should be able to play there safely.

“It’s a substantial amount to be spending — we think it will cost each household in the village about £1.50.

“It’s a shame because most of our residents are decent people. These people didn’t think about the consequences of their actions.”

* The door of an outbuilding at the back of a house in Gainsborough Hill, Henley, was damaged on Thursday last week. Police said it looked as if the wood around the lock had been scraped in a break-in attempt.

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