Fri, 22 Jun 2018
TOWN councillors have condemned “mindless” acts of vandalism and anti-social behaviour in Newbury’s Victoria Park.
Several established trees have been snapped from their stumps over the past three weeks, while others have been heavily damaged and patches of vegetation destroyed.
A bike stand has also suffered damage, while rose beds have been ripped up.
In total, four separate incidents have been reported to Thames Valley Police – three of which have occurred over the past five days.
On June 18, offensive graffiti was spray painted on the path adjacent to the skate park while another offender spray painted more around the bandstand.
The writing repeatedly referred to a group believed to be called TP Gang or Turnpike Gang.
It has cost the town council £250 to remove.
Evening disturbance reports around #VictoriaPark’s skate park area, including extended periods of criminal damage within the park. Please be extra vigilant and report any witnessed criminal or antisocial behaviour to the police if in progress on 999 or after on 101. #Newbury pic.twitter.com/wT1K64GLvG— Newbury Town Council (@NewburyTC) June 20, 2018
Two days later, two more established trees were snapped off and another heavily damaged next to the skate park, resulting in £400 worth of damage.
On June 21, three other established trees by the skate park plantation were snapped and a pair of spiral topiary bushes were destroyed, while another next to the bowls club also suffered damage.
There were reports from members of the public that same evening of a microwave being thrown around the play park, resulting in £1,400 worth of damage.
Some individuals have reportedly been seen drinking and playing loud music in the evening, while drugs paraphernalia has also been recovered.
I’ve been out in #VictoriaPark this evening, talking with residents about recent vandalism. The clean up has begun, but lots of anger. If anyone has any info please call @TVP_WestBerks on 101. @NewburyTC @Nbyreporting @NewburyToday pic.twitter.com/XWK78AKqTe— Miles Evans (@MilesWEvans) June 21, 2018
Miles Evans, deputy leader at Newbury Town Council (Con, Victoria), condemned the behaviour and said: "Mindless vandalism of this sort has no place in our local community and we're determined to stamp it out.
"That's why I'm calling for anyone with information to contact the police on 101.
"Resolving these issues essentially wastes ratepayer's money that should be being spent on exciting future projects."
In a statement, Thames Valley Police said they were encouraging officers to route through the park on their way into town and urged residents to report any incidents as soon as possible.
Part of the statement read: “Please do spread this message to anyone concerned – time is absolutely of the essence if we are to catch these people.”
See next week's Newbury Weekly News for more on this story.