The vandalism in the park began earlier this year than last but at least it began with the destruction of infrastructure rather than with the killing of trees, as it did last year.
We know that a lot of our followers here and on Facebook are as upset and as worried by this as we are. Here are some of the comments from Facebook:
” This must be absolutely soul destroying to see your work undone whilst you try to create a haven for animals and humans alike to enjoy. We don’t use the park as often now as we have moved away but the improvements and work that have been created by the volunteers is immense from when it literally used to be wasteland. Let’s hope the mindless vandalism stops and they leave the park to be nurtured. Thank you for all your hard work.”
” What about putting up one of those camera’s that picks up motion, they use them to catch photos (maybe video too) of wildlife. Stick it in the tree somehow.”
” My sympathy is with you, it seems to be becoming normal these days to see things get vandalised. If you do catch them, I’d make the parents fix the fence and pay for the materials, ”
” I’ve got a nice long range camera. If you know what evenings this group is in the park and there is good light I should be able to get some photos of them. ”
” Little sods! It breaks my heart all the time and hard work that goes into making the place as beautiful as it is for some mindless and selfish individuals to happily come along and destroy it all! “
” Hidden camera maybe? Where are they coming in from main entrance or from the side where the houses are or up by the allotments? Could set up volunteer rangers … if you do, put me down for it.”
Firstly, it is very comforting to know that people appreciate what we do; thank you. Secondly, the last comment struck us as the seed of a brilliant idea; not park rangers but a Park Watch built along the lines of a neighbourhood watch and using the same tried and tested links with the police.
We thought of a core membership of regular park users and an FoSCP co-ordinator. Everybody would know how and to whom to report damage, anti-social or suspicious behaviour, and the police would know how and where to respond. Hopefully, this would plug all the gaps between the different groups of us into which useful intelligence can and does vanish.
What do you think? We have put it to our local Community Police Team and are waiting for their reply but we assume that the first thing they will want to know is – do we have the volunteers?
Over to you.