Playground for vandals'
PUBLISHED: 16:48 09 April 2008 | UPDATED: 11:11 12 August 2010
A PARK has been labelled a destruction playground after a spate of vicious vandalism attacks. In the past month, Kelsey Park in Beckenham, has been blighted by the mindless slaughter of two swans beaten to death with sticks and the uprooting and dest
A PARK has been labelled a 'destruction playground' after a spate of vicious vandalism attacks.
In the past month, Kelsey Park in Beckenham, has been blighted by the 'mindless' slaughter of two swans beaten to death with sticks and the uprooting and destruction of a commemorative tree planted in memory of someone who died.
Last Friday night, dozens of plants were pulled up and strewn across pathways and dustbins were emptied all over the children's playground by youths who broke in to the park after dark.
Chairman of the Friends of Kelsey Park (FOKP), Christopher Hermon said: "Sadly, there is a really bad element that seems to frequent our park recently to use it as their destruction playground.
"I'm distraught and angry that they can destroy something that we have created for the public, it's dismaying.
"Recently we had the mindless slaughter of two beautiful young swans that were not even a year old by a group of five youths. That was particularly distressing because we had watched them develop from signets.
"The groups of youths are intimidating the public and the problem is getting worse.
"There are too many of these mindless incidents. Why should the majority of us who love this beautiful park have to suffer?"
FOKP Volunteer Coordinator, Liz Anderson is a passionate wildlife lover and regularly counts the birds around the park.
She said: "I felt sick when I found out about the swans. I just can't believe somebody could do that. We had monitored the birds since they hatched.
"There aren't enough community officers in the park now. The problems are escalating and several people have said they don't feel safe walking in the park when there are no visible estate officers patrolling."
A spokesman for Bromley council said: "There have been some deeply regrettable incidents and, whilst we are not responsible for this anti -social behaviour, we are doing what we can. Sadly, anti-social behaviour is a feature of our society and from time to time this does occur in our parks and open spaces and Kelsey Park is not immune from this.
"We do try to clean up and repair the damage created by vandals so that the park can be enjoyed by all. Our security patrols do react to incidents and reports from members of the public and from a historical perspective, security is much improved. We are looking at ways we can improve the situation still further and we do need to balance security issues across the borough."
A spokesman for Bromley police said: "The Safer Neighbourhood Team has been working with members of the community to address residents' concerns about criminal damage in Kelsey Park.
"The team continue to make enquiries about the swans' killing and Bromley Police's Wildlife Officer is working on the case and is currently investigating four individuals whose names have been passed to him in the course of his enquiries."
Anyone with any information should contact PC John Blackman on 020 8284 8857.