The City of Whyalla is working hard with local police to address the issue of vandalism at Civic Park and reported harassment of council staff.
The city’s premier recreational park was again targeted by vandals last week with sapling trees snapped in half, toilets set on fire and the council compound broken in to.
It is the second time this year trees have been snapped in two by these senseless attacks.
A toilet block at Civic Park was smashed on Friday afternoon and set on fire with only prompt action and repair by parks and gardens crews late on Friday night enabling these facilities to be up and working again for Saturday’s Unearth Your Trash & Treasure and Light the Night events.
These same parks and gardens crews have reported being harassed by young offenders while simply going about their work in keeping parks and gardens clean and tidy for all residents in Whyalla and visitors to enjoy.
Whyalla Mayor Lyn Breuer is in regular contact with the police regarding different issues but said these recent incidents required immediate action.
“While this sort of senseless vandalism is disgusting, the reported harassment of council staff is very disturbing, dangerous and completely unacceptable,” Mayor Lyn Breuer said.
“No worker should have to put with this sort of behaviour while just going about their job.”
The Mayor will be seeking meetings with senior police officers in Whyalla to express council’s concerns.
“From reports we are getting from our work crews, these incident are being carried out by children who appear to be as young as ten years old and are roaming around during school hours,” Mayor Breuer said.
“This is even more worrying and reason for all parties concerned to act now.
“As a council we support and commend all the work being done by police liaison officers in our community and we understand there are underlying issues in play here but damage to our city’s facilities and, particularly, harassment of our workers is simply not on.
“Breaking trees is also a crime but also just a moronic act that serves no purpose except to destroy a living thing and destroy an environment that we all should be able to enjoy as Whyalla residents.
“At the end of the day it is also damage that is costing the ratepayers money and every resident in Whyalla should be dismayed by these attacks.”
Council officers are now investigating added security options and will be working with police to look at measures such as improved lighting and more security cameras to secure the city’s public places and facilities.
Police will be meeting with council officers this afternoon (3pm, Tuesday, October 31) at Civic Park to discuss suitable security options for the area.