Spate of vandalism in public places

01 Jun, 2016

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The ACT Government has told us they are very concerned about the recent vandalism of public assets after a string of fires were started in the public facilities at Yerrabi Pond and Tuggeranong town park and the play equipment at John Knight Park was repeatedly damaged.

“On the night of Wednesday 25 May, security personnel arrived at Yerrabi Pond District Park to find that a small fire had been lit inside the public toilets, causing damage to cubicles,” Fleur Flanery, Director of City Services said.

“This was the second incident within two weeks, following an arson attack on both Yerrabi Pond and Tuggeranong town park facilities last Tuesday (17 May 2016).

“There has also recently been vandalism to other public assets. Earlier this month a bin was set on fire inside the snake house play structure at John Knight Park causing extensive damage to paint and rubber surfaces.

“The playground was vandalised for a second time when the rubber matting was again lit on fire and names carved into the playground surface. Fortunately the equipment remains structurally sound and the playground was able to remain open.

“Vandalism prevents the community from enjoying our public facilities and is a burden on the ACT Government budget. It means resources need to be directed away from other important services. In addition to the cost of repairs, there are often ongoing costs when the replacement or redesign needs to be changed in an effort to mitigate further damage. “

ACT Government playground inspectors estimate that 90% of all repairs undertaken at playgrounds are a result of vandalism. This equates to about $120,000 per year vandalism at Canberra playgrounds.

“It’s disappointing that despite the time and money put into providing quality public facilities the community can’t make use of them in full because of vandalism. Probably the most frustrating examples are when the destruction of the equipment is ‘planned’ and not just random acts.

” People who witness or are aware of vandalism should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or report it to www.act.gov.au/fixmystreet

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