Vigilance sought as vandals strike in Rowlands Castle

By Post in Local People

ANTI-SOCIAL behaviour is “ramping up in scale” at a popular open space in Rowlands Castle.

That’s the verdict of a council worker as villagers are paying the price of increased vandalism at the recreation ground.

Vandals tampered with the locks on the public toilets last week, rendering them out of action for two days.

Bike racks were also damaged while a coat and sports bag were stuffed into the bin nearest the pavilion.

The amount of litter around the ground has also increased as many dog walkers and park users have left their waste around the full bin instead of making use of the other four around the perimeter.

The rubber seat to the zip-wire was repeatedly cut by a knife-wielding vandal earlier this year, costing villagers £100 to repair on each occasion.

The increase in anti-social behaviour, which has coincided with rising temperatures and longer evenings, at the site is also stretching the budget at Rowlands Castle Parish Council (RCPC).

“All these issues will need to be addressed at some cost to the public purse, and this is money that could be better spent on more constructive projects,” wrote admin assistant, Gill Whatley, on the village’s online messageboard last week.

“It’s ramping up in scale,” said parish clerk Lisa Walker, in response to the increased vandalism and anti-social behaviour at the open space.

“Someone has come back as a result of the Grapevine message saying they’ve witnessed in the last few weeks children climbing on the storage containers.

“The recreation ground management committee will be looking at this.

“Whether it’s a case of using anti-vandal paint or something like that.

“It’s a well-used facility so it’s about trying to keep it in a condition that meets the expectations of those who legitimately use it while controlling any anti-social behaviour there.”

Villagers have been urged to report any incidents of anti-social behaviour or vandalism at the recreation ground to Rowlands Castle Parish Council on 023 9241 3044 or to contact the police on 101.