SECURITY cameras are going up in a £1.4m town park that is being targeted by vandals.

Blackhill and Consett Park was re-opened last year after a restoration programme funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Derwentside District Council.

But youths have vandalised the Victorian park, including one of its original features, the little boy fountain.

There has also been a spate of petty thefts and instances of vandalism to shrubs, plants and fences.

The district council is installing four security cameras, which will ensure that the whole of the park can be monitored.

The move follows an announcement earlier this year that three more cameras will be installed in the Blackhill ward.

District council leader Councillor Alex Watson, said: "This will no doubt act as a massive deterrent to would-be vandals.

"It has proved to be essential, because of the petty vandalism. It is important that all our parks are safe for people to use."

The fountain was dismantled and stored during the winter months and will be put back out in the park again this week.

As part of the second phase of the restoration work, the council is also building a car park next to the site, in Laburnum Avenue, despite some objections by residents.

"The car park was a controversial issue, but it is needed to keep vehicles off the street," said Coun Watson.

"It had become highly dangerous down there with double parking.

"While some residents are resentful, a lot of people are appreciative, because of the dangers this on-street parking had caused."