MINDLESS yobs have vandalised a hut built for war veterans and smashed up changing rooms in a two-week wrecking spree.
Alexandra Park and nearby Coronation Playing Fields in Hoole were subjected to sustained vandal attacks over 14 nights.
Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWaC) is now working with Cheshire Police and park users to crack down on the yobs and bring them to justice.
CWaC’s executive member for culture and recreation Cllr Stuart Parker said: “This wide spread destruction has left many people who use the park and Coronation Playing Fields angry and heartbroken.
“Why carry out such senseless acts? The vandals have got to remember that they are hurting their own community who are now suffering because of their wanton actions.”
Night-time security patrols have been stepped up and the council is working with park users - including the Chester and District Football League - to repair the damage.
Vandals damaged toilets, wash basins and showers after breaking into the recently refurbished Coronation Playing Fields changing rooms using an axe.
They also damaged public toilets in Alexandra Park by ripping a cistern off the wall, removing handles from toilers, lifting one toilet bowl off its fittings and smearing excrement on the walls.
One vandal even continued to smash a sink drainage pipe when he was confronted by a park user.
The veterans hut door and windows were also smashed and hut has been boarded up while the public toilets are now only available to organised groups.
Hoole councillors Alex Black and Bob Thompson have hit out at those responsible for the damage.
Cllr Thompson said: “This sustained attack has affected everyone who takes pride in and enjoys this wonderful park and nearby Coronation Playing Fields.
“It is extremely sad that the veterans hut has been a target for the vandalism. And it is not only the smashed windows and graffiti outside - they were determined to get inside the building as well.
”And it must not be forgotten that the council’s repair bill will ultimately be paid by council taxpayers.”
Cllr Black said: “This destruction has got to stop and if park users see anything suspicious they should immediately call the police because this trail of destruction must come to an end.
“The toilets were left in a disgusting state of disrepair.”
Teams from the Chester and District Football League use the playing fields and the league has been helping the council repair the damage.
League secretary Paul Graham said: “The damage is absolutely appalling and totally mindless.
“League members are working together to repair the inside of the Coronation Playing Fields building.
“Some of our members are plumbers and builders in their day jobs, so we have the skills needed to make sure the changing rooms are up and running in the next few weeks.”
Cllr Parker urged anyone who has information about the recent vandal attacks to contact the police.
He said: “I am really pleased that the community has rallied round and we need to make it clear to the minority who have carried out this vandalism that this is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”
Police inspector Kevin Chambers said: “Cheshire Police will not tolerate mindless acts of vandalism such as this.
“We understand that antisocial behaviour and vandalism can have a profound effect upon our communities and residents and we will do all we can to act on reports of such criminality and gather an intelligence picture to bring to justice those who commit this type of offence.”
See full story in the Chester Leader