Vandals trash Sunderland school children’s art project

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VANDALS have trashed a children’s art project aimed at brightening up the community.

Pictures were slashed and ripped on a panel of 20 pieces which spans the footbridge over Stockton Road in Sunderland

The damage was reported to police at 3.30pm yesterday.

The artwork was part of a school project for Year 5 pupils from St Paul’s Primary School in Ryhope had been put in place ten days earlier.

The project, called ‘Love Where You Live,’ depicts how families would look and dress from the 18 Century to present day.

They had been installed as part of a community project to brighten up the footbridge and encourage the children to use the footbridge to walk to school safely.

Neighbourhood Sergeant Tom Connor said: “This is an act of deliberate vandalism by individuals who have spoiled the work of young children.

“The pupils had worked hard on the project and it really made the footbridge a more attractive area for pedestrians to use when safely crossing the bridge.

“It’s a real shame that some mindless people decided to damage it.

“I’m sure the local community and the children in particular will be upset by what has happened and we are asking local people to contact us straightaway if they have information which could help our enquiries.”

Councillor Ellen Ball, Ryhope councillor and chair of the City Council’s East Committee that helped fund/oversee the project, said: “This is devastating for the youngsters that put so much effort into these works.

“It’s sad that some people only want to damage and destroy everything they see.

“If anyone has more information on this then I’d urge them to share it with the police immediately.”

Police are appealing for witnesses anyone who was in the area and who may have seen or heard anything suspicious is asked to contact them.

Anyone with information should contact police on 101, extension 69191, quoting log number 727 of 11/09/14 or ring the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Photos of some of the damaged artwork