Vandals who have been the blight of parks in Donington are to be hunted down and prosecuted if volunteers who tidy them get their way.
A new get-tough stance is being taken after the latest spate of destruction in Flinders Park:
* Plants and shrubs paid for by the community trampled on and pulled up.
* Wires and strings on the pergola for plants to climb up swung on and pulled down and bolts removed from the structure.
* Bolts and fixings removed from the bridge over the dyke to the skate park.
* Smashed beer bottles dropped on paths and bottles thrown into shrubs.
* Bricks removed from flower beds in other parts of the village flying up from mowers.
Now volunteers are calling on police to prosecute the culprits. Jane King, who is again standing for Donington in the district council elections, is leading the call for action.
She said: “We plan to check the CCTV more and report incidents to the police. We’ve let it go too often in the past but now we want the culprits caught, prosecuted and named and shamed.”
Volunteers were ready to give up trying to keep Donington looking nice after witnessing the latest attacks by vandals.
The news was broken to Jane King by volunteer Steve Pulfer. In an email, he said that the Easter holidays and lighter nights seemed to have brought out the vandals.
He said: “I have been into the park today and found much litter and some recent damage.
“So much alcohol is being taken into the park that not all of it is being drunk – I found nearly a whole box of Budweiser bottles that had not been opened.
“The chap cutting the grass reported to me that he hit some pieces of red brick with his mower.”
Jane said: “It’s so soul destroying for the volunteers when this happens. We have to fundraise for everything in the village.
“We try very hard to provide things for all age groups, with places to sit and relax, kick-a-round areas and a skatepark.
“Why do they do it? There’s not a group of fairies who come out and clear up after them. But there will be a time when we can’t afford to do it anymore.”
Insp Jo Reeves said she was sympathetic with the volunteers. She said: “The impact of vandalism on any community is significant, especially where damage is caused to equipment paid for by community fundraising and the work of volunteers.
“We fully support the work of people trying to make a positive impact in their community and police will fully investigate any reported incidents of anti-social behaviour and criminal damage and will patrol the areas accordingly.
“However, it is vital all incidents are reported so that we are able to identify offenders and prevent further issues. This will also assist in making sure patrols are conducted at the appropriate times.”