Youths caught vandalising Mansfield park

Paul Shelton, chairman of Mansfield Boys F.C. with some of the perpex roofing panel that has been ripped off the dug-out and disgarded in the near-by wooded area.

Paul Shelton, chairman of Mansfield Boys F.C. with some of the perpex roofing panel that has been ripped off the dug-out and disgarded in the near-by wooded area.

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Three youths have been forced to pay after they were caught red-handed wrecking football equipment on a Mansfield park.

The boys, aged between 12 and 13, were addressed by officers for causing criminal damage to the equipment at Berry Hill Park on August 25.

They were ordered to pay a total of £75 to Mansfield Boys FC towards the repair costs for their smashed dugout, ripped nets and other damages.

A spokesman for Nottinghamshire Police added: “On this occasion, a form of restorative justice was used to resolve the matter with the agreement of the victim.”

“Repairs were carried out by a parent of one of the boys and a £25 contribution towards the repair costs paid by each of them.”

These fines come after months of damages caused by different vandals, leaving the club to foot the bill, which is now higher than £3,000.

But Paul Shelton, chairman of Mansfield Boys, does not think these youths are the main culprits for the damages.

He said: “I think the boys are quite remorseful about it now. But I just hope this sends a message to the others who are doing it.

“We’re not going to give up the cause of coaching children in Mansfield because of these mindless vandals.

“We will keep repairing it but we will catch them eventually.”

Members of the club, which coaches 130 children each week, have also recently found smashed beer bottles on the football pitch and offensive writing scratched into the dugout.

Paul, 46, previously told Chad this constant hooliganism was making the park unsafe for people to use.

“I just hope these people get prosecuted when we do eventually catch them,” he added.

Nottinghamshire Police has advised the club to store some of the equipment in a safer place and put clear signage up in the area.

A force spokesman said: “In addition, the team has increased patrols at Berry Hill Park in response to these incidents and the football pitch area is very much part of the anti-social behaviour patrol plan.”

Anybody who has information about the damaged equipment at the park is asked to telephone Nottinghamshire Police on 101.

Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.