VANDALS who smeared human faeces at a Coleraine play park have been branded “disgusting” and “abhorrent”.
Coleraine Borough Council, which operates Anderson Park, have stepped up patrols after the public alerted them about excrement being found on children’s play equipment.
Council staff have cleaned and removed the dirt from the children’s slide on two occasions over the past week and the matter has been reported to the police for investigation.
A spokesperson for Council said the incidents were a serious health and safety issue for the families and young children who use the park which is close to the town centre.
She said: “Coleraine Borough Council ask for residents and visitors to Anderson Park to be vigilant and report any abnormal behaviour in that area...and any sightings of the individuals causing this damage should be reported to the local PSNI office as soon as possible.”
SDLP councillor, Stephanie Quigley, condemned the incidents: “The behaviour of these vandals is disgusting and abhorrent.
“As a mum of five I have used the park for twenty years, in fact it’s been one of my favourite places to take my children.
“I would appeal for the public to report anything suspicious to police or Council and commend the Council’s Technical Services team for their quick response in cleaning the area up.”
DUP councillor George Duddy described the incident as ‘disgusting’. He said: “The health implication of the actions of those responsible is hard to comprehend. I just have to question the mentality of those responsible.
“There is not only a risk to those who use the park, but to those who have to come in and clean up.
“I would urge anyone who knows any information about this crime should report it immediately to police. There is no excuse for this behaviour.”
Inspector Ian Armour of Coleraine neighbourhood policing team, said: “Police utterly condemn this type of anti-social behaviour. Potentially, there are a range of offences here and police will be looking at these very carefully.
“We have worked hard across the year with Council and other partners to reduce anti-social behaviour in Coleraine.
“This incident is as disappointing as it is disgusting because of the many families that use Anderson Park in the intended way and may now be wary of going there.
“If you are experiencing anti-social behaviour in your area, including around Anderson Park, please report it to your Neighbourhood Team on 0845 600 8000. Or, if it is an emergency dial 999.”