Vandals targeting park toilet block
PUBLISHED: 11:15 06 March 2008 | UPDATED: 13:01 06 May 2010
VANDALS have repeatedly targeted a set of public toilets in a local park. The facility at Greenwood Park in Chiswell Green has been broken into and damaged five times between the end of January and mid-February. Doors have been kicked in, toilets blocked,
VANDALS have repeatedly targeted a set of public toilets in a local park.
The facility at Greenwood Park in Chiswell Green has been broken into and damaged five times between the end of January and mid-February.
Doors have been kicked in, toilets blocked, toilet paper strewn everywhere and the vandals have even daubed the walls with faeces. Each time the caretaker has had to spend extra time cleaning up the mess. St Stephen Parish Council has also had to get the locks repaired and employ contractors to unblock the toilets.
The toilets opened to the public a couple of years ago because so many people use the park, which includes a small community centre and a popular children's playground.
Although it's not the first time the toilets, which are located in the sports pavilion, have been targeted by vandals, the situation has escalated recently.
But the clerk to the parish council, Juliet Pienaar, said that a number of measures to deter the yobs were being enforced.
She said: "Locking the toilets to the public would be a last resort because then the actions of a minority would be spoiling the use for the majority of park visitors."
She explained that the security guard, who locked the community centre every night, would also be locking the toilets with a sturdy bolt instead of relying on the building's less-secure, self-locking mechanism.
About a year ago, the security guard also began patrolling the park twice on a Friday and Saturday night in the face of vandalism of the play equipment and cricket nets and that had proved successful.
He is now keeping a close eye on the toilet block and CCTV footage monitoring the area is being examined.
The incidents of vandalism occurred during the last weekend in January and in February on Friday 1, Saturday 2, Saturday 10, and Tuesday 12.
On one occasion a group of youngsters were spotted leaving the toilets.
A police spokesperson said that officers were exploring several lines of inquiry and there had been increased high-visibility patrols in the area.
Anyone with information about the incidents should contact the neighbourhood team on 01727 696213 or alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.