A youth responsible for the recent vandalism of the North Lodge Park bandstand in Darlington has identified.

A section of the railings around the 119-year-old structure, which had recently undergone a revamp thanks to the efforts of the local community, was damaged and appeared to have been cut away.

The council’s CCTV team captured a male youth on its network of cameras, recently enhanced through Darlington’s Safer Streets partnership.

The footage was examined by the council’s civic enforcement officers and Durham Police who were able to identify him.

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When interviewed by police, the 13-year-old admitted causing the damage, explaining he’d taken his frustrations out on the bandstand after having an argument with one of his neighbours earlier in the day.

He has now been referred to the Youth Engagement and Justice Service.

Cllr. Mike Renton, cabinet member for stronger communities, said: “It’s great news that our CCTV and civic enforcement teams were able to work with Police to track down the culprit, who has now admitted the offence and is working with the Youth Justice Service.

“This kind of anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated and I’d urge anyone who sees anything suspicious to report it to us or to the Police.”

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Inspector Dean Haythornthwaite, from Darlington Neighbourhood Police Team, said: “It is disappointing that a minority of individuals choose to cause damage to public property, which is provided for the enjoyment of everybody, so it’s great to have a positive outcome in this case.   

 “We will investigate all reports of criminal damage and would urge anyone who sees anyone committing these types of offences to contact us.”

 The bandstand has now been repaired at a cost of £640 + VAT.

Anti-social behaviour can be reported using Darlington Borough Council’s online form at www.darlington.gov.uk/reportit or you can contact our civic enforcement team on 406999.

Alternatively, you can call the Police non-emergency number on 101. In an emergency please call 999.

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