AN appeal has been made for the public to help “stamp out vandalism” after damage costing £14,000 was caused to council property in Mid & East Antrim in recent months.
Mayor, Cllr Peter Johnston, told a council meeting in Ballymena on Monday night that, “disappointingly, over the summer months, we have had 25 separate incidents of vandalism costing nearly £14,000.”
He said vandalism was clearly on the increase as the cost of vandalism last year, for the whole year, was £16,000.
He said over the summer there had been 2 incidents in the Ballymena area; 14 in Larne and 9 in Carrickfergus.
Incidents included £2,000 damage at Marine Gardens Play Park; Windmill Play Park in Carrick (£3,000); Inver River Walkway in Larne (£2,000); Linn Glen Walk in Larne (£800) and Carnfunnock Park was £1,000.
The Mayor said that last week “newly refurbished” toilets in Glenarm and Carnlough were also vandalised.
Cllr Johnston said: “As Mayor I make a heartsome appeal to the public to protect our investment and to report anything that you know to the PSNI.
“Our focus remains on growing the tourism economy in MEA and it is not welcoming for visitors to see vandalism which can be off-putting to those staying in our location”.
The Mayor asked the public to be “vigilant” and to help the Council, along with the PSNI, “to stamp out vandalism”.