Patrols to be set up to combat selfish vandals

Grangemouth resident David Balfour helps to clean up the vandalism at the new playpark in Loretto Housing, Inchyra Place, Grangemouth
Grangemouth resident David Balfour helps to clean up the vandalism at the new playpark in Loretto Housing, Inchyra Place, Grangemouth

Mindless vandals wrecked a brand new £150,000 play park and left an ecstasy tablet and cannabis joints lying on the ripped up flooring.

Furious residents who live near the facility at Loretto Housing in Inchyra Place, Grangemouth, are now so worried they are being forced to consider drawing up rotas to patrol the park, which only opened last December, so this does not happen again.

Loretto Housing offers supported accommodation to adults with learning difficulties or physical disabilities. Before this thoughtless act, which is believed to have happened on Thursday, April 6, younger family members who were visiting relatives at the location were able to enjoy some fun play time at the park.

Inchyra Place resident Elizabeth Robertson (45) said: “Myself and one of my neighbours had been keeping an eye on the park, but we
hadn’t been able to for the last couple of weeks and then this happened.

“The damage is bad enough, but it was also dangerous for the children because they found an ecstasy tablet and the remains of cannabis joints lying in the play park.”

Police have been informed about the incident and are now investigating.

Elizabeth said: “It was an amazing facility that was given to the community. It’s just such a shame to see it mindlessly destroyed like this. There hadn’t been any trouble like this before.

“Teenagers were coming in and sitting in the play park, but they respected it and didn’t damage it.”

Although in great pain through her condition, Elizabeth felt it was her duty to help in the clean up.

She said: “I was there for over three hours trying to clean up the mess with my daughter and my friends. We did our best but the floor has two big holes ripped in it and it will have to be replaced.”

David Balfour, a councillor candidate for Grangemouth, also helped in the clean up effort.

He said: “I helped residents clear up much of the mess caused, but the damage will have to be repaired at great cost. I will be meeting with Loretto Housing management and more residents soon to discuss ways forward on this issue.

“I have also spoken to Falkirk Council’s Community Safety Team and the police and passed on all the information I have received from residents. We have witnesses and names and those responsible will be pursued.

“We will not stand by and let a mindless few ruin or town or community.”

Elizabeth added: “We have been talking about drawing up a rota for patrols around the park. It’s a shame this has to be done, but if we have to keep an eye on the place to keep it safe then that’s what we will do.

“We are taking pride in what we have got here so we can’t let this happen again. The kids really loved this place and it was well used before this – I’ve noticed fewer children coming to play in it since this happened.”

The residents are also looking to get some activities organised for youngsters over the summer holidays to keep them occupied.