MEMBERS of a community group who take care of an East Lancashire park have been left disappointed and angry after a children’s playground was vandalised overnight.

Images from The Friends of Roe Lee Park show a climbing frame on the playground that has had parts ripped clean off and strewn all over the floor.

Other photos show extensive damage to a gate, which cannot now be closed.

Linda McGhee, who took the photos, said: “This morning I was faced with this in the playground. who are these idiots who think to destroy a piece of play equipment is acceptable?

“The pieces were strewn about, even on the lower playground.

“The gate was damaged too and the piece that’s broken usually stops the gate from swinging open and it keeps the younger children from getting out on their own

“Who are the parents of these mindless vandals, they obviously don’t care that they have completely ruined a lovely piece of play equipment that will be costly to replace.

“I hope the CCTV shows the culprits and they are brought to book about this.”

The £70,000 playground was only installed around 18 months ago, and Jason Walker, acting chairman of the Friends, said he is very upset and disappointed with what’s happened.

Mr Walker said: “It was me and the group who had this installed 18 months ago as the other playground was 30 years old.

“The playground has now been locked up and is out of use. There’s evidence of cans of beer and laughing gas so we have a good idea that it’s probably teenagers," Mr Walker said.

“The police and the council have been informed and we will be checking our CCTV," he added.

“It will be a couple of weeks at least before this can be fixed.

“It’s really unfair as this is a well-used park and had only just opened back up after lockdown.”

Mr Walker said the group would fully support the actions of the police and the council in dealing with the culprits, and said a strong message needed to be sent to those responsible.

Cllr Phil Riley, who represents the Roe Lee Park ward on Blackburn with Darwen Council, said: “We would like anyone with information as to who the culprits are to get in touch with the police."

Police can be contacted on 101 quoting log number 0355 of July 30.