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Vandals go on wrecking spree at Dudley play site

One of the damaged go-karts
One of the damaged go-karts

“Mindless” vandals broke into an adventure playground in Dudley over the weekend and caused thousands of pounds worth of damage.

Staff at Sycamore Adventure came in this morning to find an outdoor storage cupboard had been broken into and all 15 of its go-karts left strewn all over the site.

One – which was one of four bought by the Dudley Council-owned centre as a result of a grant by Comic Relief – has been damaged beyond repair, while several others have also been damaged.

The full impact of the break-in has not been assessed – but bosses at the centre, which is on the site of the former Sycamore Green Primary School, have already said they will be unable to afford to replace them.

It has been open since 2010 offering free public play sessions for youngsters of all ages and backgrounds. It is also used by schools for visits, private children’s parties and for training and team building for adults.

Keith Rogers, play centre manager, said:

“Somebody, or more likely a group of people, have jumped the fence, prised the doors open on an outside storage area and basically emptied it.

“There were fifteen go-karts completely spread across the whole site. Several of them have been damaged.

“One of them is, I think, now completely un-usable, and that is one of the more expensive ones.

“The frame on it has been bent completely, we suspect as a result of someone possibly jumping up and down on it. On a couple of the others it looks like the wheels have been kicked and the frames bashed about.

“Nothing has been taken and there seems to have been no intention to steal at all – it’s just mindless vandalism. We are not in a position to be able to replace the damaged karts.

“They were extremely popular, they were used by kids of all ages, by schools during visits, by parties, and we are just not going to be able to provide that service anymore.”

Police have been informed and are investigating. Anyone with information is urged to call officers at West Midlands Police on the non-emergency 101 number.

A justgiving page has been set up by Nicole Bashford, one of the staff members at Sycamore, appealing for donations to help replace the go-karts. To donate, go to www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/nicole-bashford.

News Release Contact Information

Press office - pressoffice@dudley.gov.uk - 01384 815219