Hinchinbrook Shire Council has released CCTV footage in a bid to identify the perpetrators of two recent vandalism attacks on the same multi-million dollar local playground.
In a statement, Mayor Ramon Jayo said the acts of vandalism were extremely disappointing.
“Vandalism continues to impact our community with damage once again being inflicted to the gates surrounding Rotary Park playground located in the Ingham CBD,” the Mayor said.
“At approximately 2am Sunday 5 February and 1.30am Thursday 9 February 2023, an individual can be seen intentionally damaging the gate. Not only are they damaging the gate, but it also poses a high safety risk for children who use this playground,” he said.
“It is extremely disappointing to see that there are people in our community who have little regard for community assets, wilfully damaging and defacing property and assets resulting in cost and added expense to ratepayers.”
Footage from the 5 February incident (at right, top) shows a girl or young woman arriving at the playground in the early hours of the morning and, after opening the gate, she then violently swings the gate past its closing point.
The person then skips and dances through the gate and into the playground with her hands in the air (at right, middle).
In a similar attack four days later (at right, below), a trio of young people visit the playground and, again, the gate is opened and then swung past its closing point, with what appears to be a part of the gate closing mechanism breaking off in the process.
“This behaviour does not only cost the community in repairs, but also impacts our families and children through the temporary loss of use and enjoyment of the facilities, and also damages our reputation in the eyes of tourists to our wonderful venues,” said Mayor Jayo.
Council has lodged formal complaints with Queensland Police regarding both incidents and have provided the CCTV footage to authorities.
Council will be seeking an order for restitution in some manner or form as compensation for the cost of repairs, the Mayor said.
“Because vandalism is an ongoing problem Council is committed to rolling out more CCTV cameras for the purposes of securing evidence and pursuing the culprits on behalf of the community,” he said.
“Council has released footage of this most recent incident and anyone who may be able to assist with identification of the culprit is requested to please come forward. Someone always knows something when it comes to vandalism, so we are requesting residents to be aware and to report such incidents.”
If you have any information in relation to this incident, please report it to Queensland Police and quote reference number QP2300233987.
“We need your assistance to apprehend the perpetrators of these malicious acts so that we can hopefully put an end to any further acts,” Mayor Jayo said.