Vandalism attack prompts closure of children's playground in Solihull park - The Solihull Observer

Vandalism attack prompts closure of children's playground in Solihull park

Solihull Editorial 2nd Jul, 2019 Updated: 2nd Jul, 2019   0

THE LATEST in a string of vandalism attacks has prompted the closure of a children’s play area at a Solihull park.

Police and councillors have taken to social media to condemn damage done to Hillfield Park in Monkspath Road, Shirley.

At the community’s request, specially adapted park benches to accommodate wheelchairs were installed recently.

And the well-used park has been upgraded several times over the years in line with residents’ wishes.

But pictures on Twitter show fences uprooted, pavement and brick scattered across the grass and the new benches broken out of their concrete reinforcement.

Damage was also done to a slide, a basketball court and glass has been smashed in the play area itself.

Conservative councillor James Butler (Blythe) tweeted: “This is appalling.

“For the third time in a couple of weeks Hillfield park has been targeted by vandals. With two incidents in the last week alone.

“Working with colleagues from the police, council, and community to show these offenders that we will not be intimidated by this.

“Oh and smashing glass all over the play equipment? You need locking up and you have concerning deep-seated issues!

“The culprits must not be allowed to destroy our community facilities.”

A sign has been put up at the gates of the playground by Solihull Council saying: “Due to recent vandalism this playground is closed for health and safety reasons. We hope to reopen the area as soon as possible.”

St Alphege Police tweeted: “We need to identify persons responsible for vandalising Hillfield Park over the weekend, leaving smashed glass in the play area.

“If you seen/heard anything, please get in touch.

“We will be increasing out patrols in the area and working closely with our partnerships.”

The council’s community group Love Solihull tweeted: “Due to recent vandalism in Hillfield Park the children’s playground has been temporarily closed.

“We are working with police and the local community regarding this matter.

“If you have any information that may help please report this to the police via 101. Thank you.”

A Solihull Council spokesperson said: “On the morning of Tuesday, July 2 the area surrounding Hillfield park was cordoned off and made safe.

“Following that, the play equipment was jet washed and the areas close by were cleaned up and checked over by a playground inspector.

“The following damage was noted on inspection:

·         playground gate broken off its hinges

·         two disabled access picnic benches flipped over

·         destruction of bench slab bases

·         litter bin damaged at the base and lid snapped off

“The decision was made to temporarily close the play area and notify local residents.

“We are currently working with the Police and the local community in an effort to identify those responsible. The local area will also be closely monitored.

“If anyone has any information that may help with the investigation report this to West Midlands Police on 101.”

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