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Kent Police are investigating after vandals wreck a play area in Rochester

By Nicola Jordan

Children have been locked out of a popular play area after vandals went on a wrecking spree.

Yobs ripped up the safety foam flooring at Balfour Recreation Ground, in Beresford Avenue, Rochester, causing hundreds of pounds worth of damage.

Parents and children at Balfour recreation ground
Parents and children at Balfour recreation ground

It is believed they carried out the vandalism between the early hours of Saturday and late on Sunday night last week.

The playground was opened in March 2012 and was funded by Medway Council.

Mum-of-two Marina Wilson said the culprits should be “utterly ashamed” of themselves.

Mrs Wilson, 42, of Pattens Lane, Rochester, said: “It is very sad. It is widely used by children from Balfour Infant and Junior schools. It’s a nice, safe place to go when they come out of school to let off steam.”

Mrs Wilson, a doctor’s surgery receptionist, said her daughter Mia, nine, and son Elliot, seven, love going to the park.

She said: “The people responsible for this should be made to realise the impact of what they have done has had on small children, especially those who don’t have a garden and have nowhere else to go in the summer.

“They have obviously done it because they are bored and think it is a bit of fun, but at the end of the day it is mindless vandalism.”

The sign at the damaged play area
The sign at the damaged play area

Ward councillor Rupert Turpin (Con) is now seeking to get CCTV to cover the area.

The father-of-four said: “It’s terrible what they have done. My children use the park.

“It is very popular and only two years old.”

Police said inquiries were ongoing.

It is the second area to be hit by vandals in less than two months. The playground at Balmoral Gardens, Gillingham, was closed for a few days in April after the surface material was pulled up, leaving massive holes in the flooring.

Park users claimed it was children who caused the damage.

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