Anger as Sunderland pocket park hit by spate of vandal attacks

Councillor Bob Price with the bench that was set alight.
Councillor Bob Price with the bench that was set alight.
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A Millfield councillor has slammed “mindless vandals” after a spate of park attacks.

Diamond Hall Pocket Park has repeatedly been targeted, most recently on Friday when a picnic bench was set alight and destroyed.

Coun Bob Price said: “Just before 7pm I received a phone call from a concerned resident that the bench was on fire.

“The fire brigade were quickly on the scene and put out the fire, but not before the bench was totally destroyed.

“We have a very limited amount of green space in Millfield and are trying to make each bit as family friendly as possible.

“Funding is already being provided to upgrade this park, but when we see such mindless vandalism it throws into question if we can justify spending our limited resources on better equipment, just to have it destroyed.”

The local neighbour policing team have been informed with a view to increasing patrol again in the area.

Patrols were increased last year after bolts were removed from various pieces of play equipment in the park.

Council officers are also inspecting video footage from the on-site CCTV system.

Coun Price added: “It’s sad when we have to remove equipment, but for the sake of safety this badly-damaged bench will have to go.

“Our East Area Responsive Local Service once again will act to help protect the public and we thank Millfield councillors for such a speedy response.

“It would be so easy to pull funding from such projects, but why should the majority of responsible residents and their children suffer because of the actions of a few?”

A spokeswoman for Northumbria Police said: “The park is a great facility for the local community and we recognise the impact incidents such as this can have.

“The Neighbourhood Policing Team are aware of the damage caused on Friday and will be paying additional attention to the park as part of their regular patrols.”