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Council condemns thugs destroying children's play areas

Published on:

10 February 2017

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Residents are being encouraged to divulge any information they have on thugs who are using Enfield's playground equipment to train their dogs to fight.

  • Dogs ‘trained' in parks are causing thousands of pounds of damage
  • Recent rise in incidents recorded throughout Enfield
  • Residents urged to report information to authorities

Residents are being encouraged to divulge any information they have on thugs who are using Enfield's playground equipment to train their dogs to fight.

This cruel practice is costing taxpayers thousands of pounds every year and is depriving local children of a safe place to play.

Dogs are often encouraged to hang from equipment by their jaws or to gnaw at swing seats to strengthen their neck muscles and prepare for fighting. It costs approximately £120 to replace just one seat of a swing.

Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Cllr Daniel Anderson, said: “This is absolutely abhorrent behaviour, deprives Enfield’s children from safe playground equipment, costs taxpayers money and causes tremendous cruelty to animals.”

“If anyone has any information on dog owners who are participating in this despicable activity, please contact the relevant authorities immediately. This has to be stopped - for the good of our borough.”

Last year eight instances of vandalism were directly linked to fighting dogs, but the actual number could be far higher, particularly so given that in the last 14 months the Council has dealt with 53 cases of damage to swings in the Borough's parks with instances found at the A10 Skate Park, Church Street Recreation Ground, Bush Hill Park, Churchfields, Cuckoo Hall, Florence Hayes, Pymmes Park and Weir Hall, among others. Shocking images of recent park equipment damage are attached.

Enfield Council treats any reports of vandalism in its playgrounds extremely seriously.

In 2014, the Council installed covert CCTV cameras in the area surrounding Forty Hall Park playground and Park Police patrols were stepped up in an effort to catch dog trainers who wrecked the facility.

You can report damage to parks or playgrounds by clicking report a problem in our parks. Call 101 to report any information to the Police, but always dial 999 in an emergency. To contact the RSPCA, visit their RSPCA or call 0300 1234 999.