Increase in patrols at borough play sites

The area around the Dome and Whitley Bay Links, including Panama Gardens, skatepark and war memorial.

The area around the Dome and Whitley Bay Links, including Panama Gardens, skatepark and war memorial.

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EXTRA patrols are being undertaken at play sites in a bid to detract thieves from stealing metal.

There are more than 50 play sites – including multi-use play and games area – within the borough and officials at North Tyneside Council have said each one is at risk as the price of metal continues to rise.

The council’s play team believe they recently interrupted a suspected potential theft.

Railings and bicycle stands at Panama skate park in Whitley Bay had been loosened and were ready to be removed.

Now, the local authority has implemented extra patrols of the play sites and is working alongside Northumbria Police in a bid to stop any thefts.

And it is not the first time play sites have been targeted by the criminals

A few years ago slides and metal fence posts were stolen when metal prices were at a premium.

Coun Glynis Barrie, cabinet member for leisure, culture, tourism and safer communities, said: “Stealing metal from children’s play sites is despicable as it doesn’t just deny children of places to enjoy but also puts them at risk.

“We know other authorities have already experienced problems with play equipment, rubbish bins and fencing being stolen.

“We are appealing to everyone to be vigilant and if they see anything suspicious to report it to local police.”

Residents are being reminded that all council staff checking play sites will be in vans carrying the recognised North Tyneside Council logos and in council uniforms.