A TREEHOUSE complex at a children’s centre will have to be dismantled because of ‘mindless’ vandals who left the structure too dangerous to use.
The outdoor play area at the Lighthouse Children’s Centre in Falmouth has been out of bounds for almost three weeks after youths pulled a gate off its hinges, ripped off fence panels and pulled off parts of the tree house flooring.
They also left nails, broken bottles and a kitchen knife in the area during the reported incidents at the centre on Jubliee Road.
Police believe the offenders are teenagers who were “smoking drugs and pooing” in the area.
Brenda Rudall, administration assistant at the centre, said: “It is just such a shame. There’s absolutely no need.
“We don’t mind people using it – that’s what it’s there for – as long as they respect it, but I’m afraid these people don’t. We are going to have to dismantle it.”
Over the course of two weekends in January and February, the vandals have torn off 16 panels from the fence and used the nails to attach them to branches higher up in the tree to make platforms 20 feet off the ground.
“We had to close it because we thought they might fall down,” said Ms Rudall. “They had nails sticking out of them. They also left glass bottles lying around. It’s ridiculous, there’s a bin right next to the play area.”
PCSO Ashley Fuller said this was a “strange” case of criminal damage.
“It’s just the way they have left it,” he said. “They were smoking drugs and pooing. I don’t understand why they would want to do it. It’s just mindless, it’s just boredom. They smashed up fencing and pulled up the flooring with a kitchen knife, which they left there. It is a such a strange thing to do.”
The latest criminal damage follows vandalism at the adjacent Happy Days Nursery last September, when the door to a storage area was smashed open and the toys were removed and left strewn outside. The vandals also left silly messages on black boards.
The damage to the tree house was reported to be caused between 2pm Friday, January 24, and 8:30am on Saturday, January 25 – crime reference number GP/14/155.
Damage to the fencing was caused between 1pm on Friday, January 31 and 8:45am on Monday, February 3 – crime reference GP/14/197.
If anyone knows anything about these crimes, call 101 and quote the relevant reference number.
The damage to the shed door at Happy Days Nursery was caused between September 6 and 9 last year – the reference is GP/13/1821.