Harleston MUGA out of action “for the foreseeable future” after vandalism

Vandalism at Harleston Recreation Ground ANL-160629-160258009
Vandalism at Harleston Recreation Ground ANL-160629-160258009

A town council chairman has called on a community to come together to help“eradicate” anti-social behaviour after Harleston’s multi use games area (MUGA) had to be closed.

Situated at the Recreation Ground off Wilderness Lane, the MUGA was opened in 2013, the council paying nearly £80,000 up front to provide the facility.

Vandalism at Harleston Recreation Ground ANL-160629-160114009

Vandalism at Harleston Recreation Ground ANL-160629-160114009

But after a number of glass bottles were thrown into it on the evening of June 21, leaving shards of glass all over the surface, the council have had to seal it off to the public, and have put it out of action “for the foreseeable future.”

Redenhall with Harleston Town Council chairman Barry Woods told the Diss Express discussions were underway with the company who installed the MUGA to determine the best way to remove the glass.

He said it was the first time the facility has been closed as a result of damage or anti-social behaviour.

“It is a real shame because the council is committed to providing what we can for young people,” he said.

Everybody in the community as a whole, from young people to parents to residents, needs to come together to try to eradicate these problems

Redenhall with Harleston Town Council chairman Barry Woods

“But of course it only takes a few people and their actions to tar the rest with the same bad view. It is such a shame.

“Unfortunately there is not a lot we can do about it.

“Everybody in the community as a whole, from young people to parents to residents, needs to come together to try to eradicate these problems.”

He said incidents of criminal damage were always reported to the police by the council.

Vandalism at Harleston Recreation Ground ANL-160629-160139009

Vandalism at Harleston Recreation Ground ANL-160629-160139009

Mr Woods added since the MUGA was sealed off, further objects had been thrown into it — including more beer and wine bottles, and part of a bicycle.

Norfolk Police confirmed this latest report of anti-social behaviour had been reported.