Vandals caused £2,000 pounds of damage in repeated attacks on Goatee beach and play park at Totton
CCTV coverage is among measures being considered in a bid to deter offenders who have caused up to £2,000 worth of damage to recreational facilities in Totton.
Goatee beach and the nearby play park have been targeted over a period of months, with at least four incidents of reportedly stolen vehicles torched in the area.
Around 2am on Friday 29th October, firefighters tackled flames engulfing a car Nissan X Trail Sport at the play park off Eling Hill.
Police have launched an investigation into the blaze, believed to have been deliberate. Benches, fencing and an oak tree were damaged in the incident, with a bin and an area of grass by the fencing also scorched.
In October, joyriders reportedly tried accessing the site via a field on Eling Hill before crashing the car and setting it alight. A similar incident took place there in March.
As reported in the A&T, police launched an investigation into a blaze that destroyed a car on the beach in May, when Totton and Eling Town Council also reported a car had destroyed several seats, picnic benches and bins there.
Speaking after the latest Goatee play park incident, town clerk Derek Biggs said the council was looking into ways to prevent intruders accessing its sites, which could include earthworks and CCTV.
“It appears that they’re driving all around the beach at low tide to get onto our land,” he told the A&T.
“In one case, to get out of our land they drove into a concrete post, snapping it, and drove into a fence.
“It’s quite tricky to stop this because as these are stolen vehicles, they couldn’t care less if they damage them trying to break in.”
Mr Biggs added up to £2,000 of damage had been caused so far.
Mother-of-three Charley Schrader was among frustrated residents.
"Our family and neighbours are growing increasingly concerned with the escalating vandalism and disregard for our local area,” she told the A&T.
“A trip to the park was cut short as my daughter found the damage and burnt bin and grass area by the park very upsetting.”
Those with information about the blaze and damage from 29th October should contact Hampshire police on 101, quoting incident reference number 44210433537, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.