Reckless and dangerous: park vandalism must stop

Reckless vandals have destroyed trees and damaged play equipment at a park in Gladstone Park, and there are now fears for fruit trees that were recently planted at the reserve.

Hume City Council understands that a small group of people have visited Trentham Drive Reserve in recent weeks on Friday and Saturday nights.

Council suspects that the individuals are responsible for the destruction, with as many as seven young, native trees felled in one night.

Hume Mayor, Councillor Adem Atmaca, said Council officers had quickly replaced the trees.

“While we acted fast to install new trees, these replacement plants were also damaged,” Cr Atmaca said.

“This is a terrible act by individuals who have no care for their local community and the impact that these crimes can have on others.

“The group has not only broken orange wheels that children like to turn at the playground, they have also left shattered glass strewn across the play area.

“This is dangerous for our youngest residents, and means that parts of the play equipment can’t be enjoyed by the many families which visit Trentham Drive Reserve.

“Residents of Hume should feel safe to visit any park, and the vandalism at Trentham Drive Reserve is a setback.”

Hume City Council has notified Victoria Police about the damage, and police officers have stepped up their surveillance of the park.

Cr Atmaca called on anyone with information about the group to speak with police.

“We are determined to find out who has committed these crimes, because no-one should be allowed to get away with this level of damage and endanger the safety of others,” he said.

“I ask local residents to keep an eye out for these hooligans, and call police if they spot the group at the park.”

A group of 30 volunteers recently planted 11 fruit trees at Trentham Drive Reserve, as part of Hume City Council’s Enviro Champions program.

Cr Atmaca said none of the fruit trees had been damaged.

“While the offenders have not targeted our fruit trees, we are obviously very concerned that these magnificent plants could be hurt too,” he said.

“The trees were planted by people who care passionately for Hume’s environment, and they are designed to provide fresh and free fruit to the residents of Gladstone Park.”

Offenders have vandalised a number of parks across Hume this year.

In April, hoons left deep tyre marks at Carrick Drive Reserve in Gladstone Park and along Yuroke Creek, off Kirkham Drive, in Greenvale.

Offenders also drove over a number of young trees alongside Hamilton Street and Sydney Road in Craigieburn.

Cr Atmaca encouraged all residents to continue to enjoy Hume’s parks.

“Our Council officers work hard to maintain our parks, and they obviously feel very disappointed when vandals harm trees and turf,” he said.

“We are so lucky to have many wonderful parks in Hume, like Jack Roper Reserve in Broadmeadows and Apex Park in Sunbury.”

Anyone with information about the recent attacks at Trentham Drive Reserve in Gladstone Park should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or Hume City Council on 03 9205 2200.

Posted on 12:00 AM, 14 October 2015

Updated : 11:43 AM, 14 October 2015

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