RESIDENTS are being urged to call the police if they witness further vandalism at a park in a bid to secure its future.
Vandals have targeted Bathside Bay play park a number of times in recent years.
In 2017, a wooden pirate ship worth about £10,000 was set on fire at the site in Stour Road, Harwich.
Months later a slide was built in its place by Tendring Council, which owns and maintains the site.
But the park had its trampoline burnt down by yobs last month.
The most recent incident involved hoodlums ripping down eight panels of metal fencing which surrounded the play area.
The panels are set to cost more than £1,500 to replace.
Concerned councillors are now putting out a plea for residents to report any further vandalism to police immediately.
They hope more reporting of vandalism at the site will help the police catch who is responsible for the damage.
Ivan Henderson, Harwich county councillor, said: “We are really concerned about the ongoing damage and cost of replacing the fence and trampoline at the park.
“It’s just totally unacceptable.
“I have asked the local PCSO to make the park one of the police’s hotspots.
“Enough is enough and we need the residents or parents around the area to come forward and stop them.
“If you are not prepared to give the vandals’ names to the police, then report them to Crimestoppers anonymously or we might lose the park.”
The site was refurbished at a cost of £45,000 in 2011, and Tendring Council has spent more than £30,000 on further improvements since then.
A Tendring Council spokesman said: “We will continue to repair the site – with the latest repairs costing in the region of £15,000 – but it will not be economical to continue to do so indefinitely.
“We therefore urge the community to come together and help us to tackle vandalism before it happens, and to report perpetrators to police to prevent this happening again.”
Harwich Town councillor Geoff Smith said: “It’s disappointing.
“Last year there was wooden fencing, and it all got ruined and we liaised with Tendring Council to ask what it could do to improve the fencing.
“It put up metal fencing in March, which has now been pulled down.”
If you have any information about the damage, call Essex Police on 101, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, or visit essex.police.uk