Lakenheath villagers have been urged to protect their community assets after six months of vandalism on the village’s playing fields.
Though the fields, with their football pitches, skatepark, Pavilion and playground, are overlooked by houses on two sides, vandals have driven cars on the pitches, sprayed graffiti, broken windows, smashed windows and damaged equipment.
David Gathercole, chairman of both Lakenheath’s parish council and its Playing Fields Association, said: “I’d like people to keep an eye out – it’s their playing fields.
“This is a village asset and the village should keep an eye on it.”
When someone was seen driving a car on the football pitches on New Year’s eve, the witness emailed Mr Gathercole the next day instead of calling the police. Suffolk Police said anyone witnessing a crime ‘in progress’ should dial 999.
Mr Gathercole said he ceased to be surprised by incidents of vandalism: “It’s water off a duck’s back, it’s what we live with now. But it’s an aggravation. We’ve spent a lot of money putting in pitches and things.”
He said dugouts the football clubs had built were kicked to pieces, a wooden picnic table was set alight soon after it was installed and a window was broken in a toilet block less than a week after it was refurbished.
Sgt David Hill from Brandon Safer Neighbourhood Team said: “Officers regularly patrol the area and work to reduce any community concerns. We encourage anyone who witnesses a crime to call 999 immediately or anyone with information to call 101.”