Residents have expressed outrage after once again, Garston Park has been the target of vandals, after two teenagers with a hammer were chased off by a member of the public.
On Saturday, May 14 at around 9:10pm a dogwalker came across young boys with the tool allegedly smashing up the park’s gym equipment, before confiscating the item.
Hertfordshire Constabulary confirmed the incident had taken place and been reported to them, stating: “The member of the public intervened and took the hammer off the boys. Our officers attended and searched the area, but they were no longer there. No damage had been caused to the park.”
The incident prompted many responses from members of the community, taking to social media and describing it as “senseless”, “frightening” and “disgusting”.
Garston Park has been a frequent recent target of vandalism. This occurrence comes only eight months after recently installed play equipment was set on fire in an arson attack.
When equipment was reinstalled in January, it only took 24 hours for the new apparatus to be vandalised again, this time it being covered in strange yellow liquid and sweetcorn.
Liberal Democrat councillor for Meriden, Peter Hannon, spoke of the incident and preventative measures the council is attempting to take to prevent further occurrences: “We are extremely disappointed to see vandalism occurring in Garston Park.
“The park is well loved and very popular with the local community and it is sad that the behaviour of just a few people has resulted in this damage, which takes play equipment away from the children who enjoy it so much.
“As local councillors, we will be approaching the local police to request that they increase patrols of the park. Watford Borough Council has also recently invested in mobile CCTV equipment, and we have requested that Garston Park be one of the first areas to benefit from this new service.
“We would also urge anyone with information on who is causing this damage to report the incidents to the local police at herts.police.uk/report.”
The two other town councillors for Meriden, elected Mayor of Watford Peter Taylor and two county councillors have also been contacted for comment.