Erewash Borough Council has appealed for help to find the vandals who scrawled large-scale graffiti across an Ilkeston skatepark just weeks after it had been cleaned and repainted.
The graffiti – some of it offensive and crude – has been daubed across panels and on the ramps, while a newly-repainted picnic bench has been completely covered in scratched messages and scribble.
The skatepark, which is next to Abbotsford Community Centre on the Shipley View estate, will now have to be refurbished again, with the council hoping to complete the work as soon as possible.
The vandalism was discovered after the Spring Bank Holiday weekend and has been reported to the police, who are investigating the attack and researching possible graffiti 'tags' that might help track down those responsible.
Panels and areas of the skatepark had been painted in bright colours as par
t of an art project the council is running with young pupils at nearby Granby School.
The children have produced A4 designs on a skateboarding theme using vivid, modern colours and were due to go to the site with an artist to see their designs transformed onto the panels.
Councillor Mike Wallis, Erewash Borough Council's Lead Member for Culture and Leisure, says:
This vandalism is an utter disgrace and I know local residents – along with the responsible skateboarders who use this facility – will share our anger and frustration. I would urge anyone who has information that could help us track down the mindless vandals behind this attack to contact the police as soon as possible.
"As most people know, local authorities are facing tight budget constraints and yet this council has invested in our play areas through new equipment and refurbishment. Now we are back at square one with this facility and we face having to find money again to repaint it. It is totally unacceptable. But we will not be deterred and we will do the work – and we will do it in time for the children to complete their art project."
The council will repaint and repair the skatepark within the next few weeks, with the Granby School pupils able to meet the project artist and see their work painted at the site before the summer break.