Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 1 November 2014

‘Mindless vandalism’ behind Duck Pond attack

One of the damaged benches

Vandals have ripped up seats, bins and a potentially life-saving ‘throw line’ at the Duck Pond in Newtownards.

One seat, commissioned by the Newtownards Lions Club and put in place only in June, went missing last Wednesday evening while the following night saw a further 10 benches pulled from the ground and either thrown into the water at the nature reserve or pushed into undergrowth.

Staff from Ards Borough Council, which maintains the area, have been retrieving the benches and repairing superficial damage.

“While we are fortunate that the benches have not been destroyed, they were forcibly pulled out of the ground, bolts and all. This is deliberate, mindless and wanton vandalism,” said Mayor of Ards, Councillor Jim Fletcher.

“We can, of course, repair and reinstall equipment but this takes our staff away from other duties and that costs our ratepayers money. Worryingly in this instance, it could well have cost a life, had someone fallen in the water and needed the help of the throw line. I would condemn those involved and urge anyone with any information to contact the police.”

The seats will be back in place as soon as possible, the council said.

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