Vandals strike for fourth time at new Wrexham village BMX track

Reporter:

Phil Robinson

A COMMUNITY BMX track has been targeted by vandals for the fourth time in five months.

Vandals first struck at the track near Afoneitha playing fields in Penycae the day after it opened in April when the heavy ‘bunny hop jump’ was torn from the ground.

Over the following months there were two more incidents when bins and a picnic table were damaged.

The latest attack came last week when one of the main ‘jumps’ was deliberately set on fire.

The track was provided as a community facility and paid for jointly by the Groundwork environmental organisation and Penycae Community Council.

Council clerk Susan Hallard said: “The little kids in the area love the track but the older element seem intent on spoiling things – then they complain there is nothing to do around here.

“In the last attack, one of the main jumps was set on fire along with a number of tyres.

“They also set fire to some shrubs which screen the track from the nearby houses.

“The first couple of times the track was damaged, Groundwork agreed to pay to put it right but I don’t know if we can expect them to do that again.

“We are waiting for them to come and assess the damage but it could be the community council who will end up footing the bill, which could easily run into thousands of pounds.”

She added: “What is being done to the track is only part of the vandalism that has been going on in this area.

“The village’s multi-use games area has also been affected, with the football nets being damaged and the turf being ripped up.

“The community council must have spent £1,500 on repairs there over the past year.

“We are really fed up of all this because it is just wanton destruction.”

A spokesman for North Wales Police said: “We were called just before 8pm on August 24 to a report of criminal damage at the BMX track in Penycae.

“One of the ‘jumps’ had been damaged by a fire which is believed to have been started deliberately.

“The matter is currently under investigation.”

See full story in the Leader

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