Nottingham

Metal thieves damage Rushcliffe play areas

A series of metal thefts from play areas in Nottinghamshire have been condemned by police.

In the past two months five incidents at four sites in the Rushcliffe area have been reported.

The district council confirmed thieves had taken slides, connecting bridges, panels out of shelters, metal rungs and even metal bin inserts.

Police described the crimes as 'like stealing candy from a baby' and said they would be watching the parks.

The council said replacement parts had been ordered at a cost of about £16,000.

Surveillance operations

The targeted parks are Rushcliffe Country Park in Ruddington and Boundary Road, West Park and Bridgford Park play areas, all in West Bridgford.

Insp Norman England, from Nottinghamshire Police, said they were working with scrap dealers.

"We go round the scrap metal dealers and reaffirm with them what their responsibilities are, tell them that thefts are on the rise again and that we expect them to give us information on people coming in that they suspect.

"We put posters up in the area so that when people are delivering they see the posters and know what details the dealers keep."

He added: "This really is like stealing candy from babies, it is the children that now have nowhere to go."

Officers were considering mounting surveillance operations and marking the equipment with Smartwater, he said.

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