Peterhead special needs park hits out after vandals strike again | #specialneeds | #kids


Vandals have struck at a Peterhead park – again.

Victoria Community Park, which is designed for those with additional support needs, has been repeatedly targeted in recent weeks.

In the latest incident, the vandals have ripped up plants and trees, tipped over fences and damaged golf holes.

Old traditional Victorian benches that had been fully restored from Peterhead Victoria Bowling Club have also been broken.

It is estimated the damage will cost between £5,000 and £10,000 to repair.

Graeme Mackie, vice-chairman of Peterhead Area Community Trust (Pact), said: “Certain people within our community are determined to destroy”.

Police have agreed to step up patrols at the park in response to the repeated attacks.

Fences and picnic benches were thrown over. Image: Pact.

Officers are investigating the latest incident and are appealing for information.

In a post on social media, Pact said the park will be closed until repairs can be completed.

Park designed for special needs

Victoria Park is one of the only places in the north-east designed for those with special needs with a sensory garden.

It also includes an all-user swing park, an outdoor adult gym and a free nine-hole mini golf course.

However, Mr Mackie said vandalism has been a “constant” since the park opened in April after being part of a £1 million refurbishment.

It has had to be closed repeatedly for repairs to take place.

In the past eight weeks, notice boards were also smashed, costing £3,000.

Barriers and anti-climb paint have been used to try and deter the culprits, but Pact has said there is a recurring problem with youths congregating to drink in the park.

They claim parents have stopped taking their children to the park due to the antisocial behaviour.

In July, barriers were installed at the entrance with anti-vandal and anti-climb paint.

Some have suggested CCTV, lights or security guards should be introduced.

But Pact has ruled out CCTV given the estimated costs of £70,000- £78,000 to install and run it.

To go with story by Cameron Roy. Victoria Park Peterhead Vandalised Picture shows; Victoria Park. Victoria Park Peterhead. Supplied by PACT Date; 15/11/2022

Vandalism puts the project on hold

Pact’s extensive Victoria Park upgrade is part of a wider project, including a BMX pumptrack, which would be the only one in the north-east.

But Mr Mackie said these plans have been delayed due to cost of replacing and repairing the vandalised equipment.

Banff and Buchan MP David Duguid said: “It’s appalling and sickening that these mindless vandals are repeatedly targeting Victoria Community Park which only opened in April.

“This selfish destruction is causing misery to both Peterhead Area Community Trust and the children across the town who enjoy using this valuable facility.

“If these incidents don’t stop then we will lose the park for good which would be a huge blow.

“I hope these cruel individuals responsible for this terrible act are caught and I would urge anyone who may have witnessed the incident to get in touch with the police immediately.”

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[Peterhead special needs park hits out after vandals strike again]

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