Despair after vandals target new roundabout

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YOUNG vandals have again targeted a town park – this time damaging a roundabout installed just weeks ago.

A gang of youths used a knife to make marks on the new roundabout introduced along with a BMX track to the tune of £6,500 this month.

Police gave chase to the youths at 7pm on Sunday following a 999 call, but despite catching them no arrests were made.

A Swiss army knife from one individual was, however, recovered.

Yesterday, the Friends of Rockingham Road Pleasure Park in Kettering called on the council to make a safety inspection.

Council workers checked on the roundabout and after sanding down some rough edges gave the go-ahead for children to use it again.

Chairman of the friends group David Meagher said he was saddened by the vandalism.

He said: “It’s disappointing because after you spend time finding and buying a new bit of kit for the park it only takes a few weeks for it to be vandalised.

“The kids have used a knife and stabbed away at the roundabout, leaving marks all over it.

“You can no longer say it is a new roundabout by looking at it.”

The vandalism comes just weeks after patrols had to be set up at the park after people reported gangs of youths starting fires and smashing glass in the park.

One incident involved the youths ripping out fencing protecting the BMX track and wrapping it around the swings.

In response, Kettering safer community team increased high-visibility patrols of the park, which is next to an infants school and a church.

The park has benefited from recent grants from Kettering Council for the roundabout, the resurfacing of parks and a BMX track.

But on Sunday night the young vandals returned to target the new roundabout.

A police spokesman said: “We received a call at about 7pm from a member of the public at the Pleasure Park with reports of a group of people at the park and an individual in possession of a knife.

“We recovered a Swiss army knife from an individual but no arrests were made.”

Anyone with information on the vandalism can call police on 101.