'Mindless vandals' lay waste to popular park in Washington - 'disgusting' acts blasted by residents and council chiefs

A woman has slammed “mindless vandals” laying waste to a popular park, with fires, urine and attacks on bowling club buildings among the catalogue of incidents she has witnessed.

Friday, 11th September 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Friday, 11th September 2020, 1:10 pm

Denise Clark, 50, said she was furious discover the latest damage to Usworth Park in Washington at the weekend when she took her dogs for a walk in the area.

Benches and hedges around the bowling green had been attacked, and slates pulled off the roof of bowling club buildings.

“I was so angry when I saw what they had done and it’s just absolutely disgusting,” she said.

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Vandalism at Usworth Park, Washington

"I saw the complete damage to the roof, bowling green and benches and the amount of glass and slate lying on the ground made me report it to the council and the police. I was really shocked when I saw it.”

Denise, who is originally from Manchester but has lived in the Usworth area for 23 years, said the destruction was the latest in a string of incidents she has seen in recent times, with others including trees set on fire and urinating around the park.

She claims teenagers regularly cause trouble around the park and has called for more youth groups in the area to keep them off the streets.

The 50-year-old reported the latest vandalism to Sunderland City Council.

Councillor Paul Stewart, Deputy Leader of Sunderland City Council

Council chiefs described the vandalism as ‘extremely disappointing’ and have said they are taking action to clear up damage and improve security.

Paul Stewart, deputy leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “It is extremely disappointing to hear of the damage caused in Usworth Park.

"Sunderland City Council is supporting the security measures surrounding the park, as well as beginning to clean-up the damage caused to the guttering from the bowling pavilion.

“Unfortunately, the decision has also been made to remove the wooden planks surrounding the former bowling green to prevent any similar occurrences in the future.

Vandalism at Usworth Park, Washington

“Finding vandalism in our local parks can be distressing for our residents, as well as ruining the hard work many people put into keeping our parks in the highest conditions. We are encouraging everyone to continue to report incidents and the people offending.”

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Vandalism at Usworth Park, Washington
Vandalism at Usworth Park, Washington