Cardiff park 'thieves' were workmen doing their job

image captionThe slide has now been re-erected in the playground

Residents were outraged when a children's new playground slide appeared to have been stolen by metal thieves in Cardiff.

The crime was reported to police after children saw a gang dismantling it and a newspaper headline ran "Children thought thieves were council workers".

But the "thieves" actually were council workers, who temporarily removed the slide while they laid new turf.

The council has apologised for not letting residents know beforehand.

Police were called after children using the new play equipment in Hill View, Fairwater reported a group of men using a blue Transit van had arrived and dismantled their new slide.

It is a feature of a new £80,000 park which residents and councillors had lobbied for over 18 months for funding.

'A bit of kerfuffle'

Concerned adults feared the children's play area had fallen victim to callous metal thieves who had spirited away the slide to be sold for a few pounds as scrap metal.

Residents, police and a local councillor had appealed for help in tracking down the thieves.

Neighbourhood watch co-ordinator Malcolm Duggan was one of those determined to find the perpetrators.

He was preparing to welcome back the slide to the play area, which he said was an important facility for local children.

He said: "It caused a bit of kerfuffle. It turned out [the alarm] was for the right reasons. I'm just surprised local councillors were not informed of it at the time.

"I'm really glad to see it back, especially with the bank holiday weekend upon on us.

"I'm just amazed they did not put the rubber mats down in the first place."


A Cardiff council spokesperson said: "We have apologised to the local councillors and we apologise to the local community for the upset caused when one of the items of play equipment at Hill View open space was removed.

"The equipment was designed to be installed in grass, in combination with a rubber mat but due to the unusual dry weather that we experienced during April, the conditions were not suitable for turf to be laid, so as a precaution it was decided to temporarily remove the one item of play equipment.

"This action was in line with advice given by the council's external playground inspector.

"However, when the equipment was removed the local community and ward councillors were not informed beforehand this was going to happen which naturally led to concerns about what had happened to the equipment.

"The play equipment has now been reinstated and we hope that the local community will continue to enjoy the area."

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