SECURITY is expected to be increased at a park in Darlington after vandals smashed play equipment, putting it out of action and making it potentially unsafe.

Fryer’s Field Recreation Ground has suffered repeated incidents of vandalism after four seat rockers were smashed and carried to a separate area of the park.

Residents who look after the park had to put cones around the damaged area to stop any one else getting hurt.

Police and Civic Enforcements were made aware of the situation and inquiries are still ongoing. 

An increased police presence in the area is planned and CCTV could be installed around the play area.

Mayor of Darlington Chris McEwan said: “Police are going to do more patrols as are the anti social behaviour team.

“But we as a community, given the pressures on police at these times, are going to reach out to the local community because we need to acknowledge our role and responsibility in being guardians of this public space.

“We want to try and get the community to be the eyes and ears in a constructive and supportive way.

"When my dog and I are our for a walk I like to make a point of walking past just to keep an eye on it as the dark nights come in.

“CCTV is something we would like to progress with local councillors.

“There’s some real positives, John and Joan Thompson the residents who look after the park, are community stalwarts and what they have done with the help of the local community is really enhance that space.”

Durham Constabularly said: "Police were called to reports of criminal damage at Fryers Field Recreation Ground in Darlington shortly after 10.30am on Sunday September 27.

"It is believed the suspect snapped the seat from a child’s spring rocker and then threw it into a nearby field before making off. Enquires are ongoing."