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Police patrols stepped-up after spate of vandalism and disorder in Strathaven

By Nicola Findlay

Police in Lanarkshire are stepping up patrols in Strathaven Park after a spate of petty vandalism and disorder in recent weeks.

The wanton vandalism has seen fencing broken in a sensory garden used by local children and playgroups, as well as panels torn off a bridge, leaflets ripped from boards and trodden among flower beds and recently planted trees broken.

Local residents have also reported an increase in anti-social behaviour with youths congregating and boozing, with smashed bottles left behind and shouting and swearing in front of young children in broad daylight.

One local vented: "Recently planted cherry trees broken, fences damaged and groups of youngsters aged between 14 and 16 running around drinking Buckfast at teatime last night."

Another went on: "There has been issues with teenagers the past few weekends in the park during the day.

"They were shouting swear words at the toddler park and throwing stones at pedalos. Really intimidating for younger kids.

"Perhaps we need to get the police involved with a regular patrol and community wardens.

"Parents need to also be checking up on where their young people are and checking their behaviour. I don't think they're bad kids but you can really see them showing off and taking it too far during the day."

Fencing in a sensory garden was damaged (EKN)

Another fed-up resident added: "I’m always picking up broken bits of bottles as I am so worried about my dogs and other dogs paws and of course kids getting hurt. Sad, no need."

One local nursery who visit the sensory garden on a regular basis also posted on social media.

Sweetie Brae Nursery wrote: "I just hope that whoever did this and thinks it's OK to do so are none of our past children.

"We encourage our children to be respectful and look after the environment. It would be disappointing if this was the case. Our nursery children frequently visit and now will be asking why it's been broken."

Petty vandalism has blighted Strathaven Park in recent weeks (EKN)

Sergeant Scott Anderson told Lanarkshire Live: “We are aware of the ongoing vandalism in the Strathaven Park area and this is unacceptable, working with community wardens we will provide extra supervision in the area.

"I would encourage any person with information as to who is responsible to contact East Kilbride Community police at lanarkshirelpsteastkilbride@scotland.police.uk"

South Lanarkshire Council wardens are also increasing their presence in the area.

Damage was done a bridge in the park (EKN)

Executive director of community and enterprise resources, David Booth, said: “We are aware of reports of vandalism within Strathaven Park and have been liaising with police and the council’s own antisocial behaviour team.

“It is always disappointing when mindless vandalism occurs and it is distressing to everyone who uses the park.

Poles from a broken bridge were flung into the water (EKN)

“I would urge anyone with information on this or any other act of vandalism to contact the police.

“This weekend a number of fence panels were damaged in an area designated as a sensory garden and we are looking to have them repaired as soon as possible.”

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