Locals have been angered after yobs trashed a new children's play area worth £170,000.

The Sandy Lane play park in Taverham Recreation Ground fell victim to "mindless vandalism" just four months after opening to the public. 

Eastern Daily Press: Sandy Lane play area in TaverhamSandy Lane play area in Taverham (Image: Sonya Duncan)

A spate of incidents included a trampoline being torn off its frame and the site's safety surfacing being scorched. 

"It is so disappointing," said Stuart Clancy, county and district councillor for Taverham.

"These people are spoiling it for no reason. 

"This mindless vandalism is stupid and malicious. There is simply no excuse for it.

Eastern Daily Press: Cllr Stuart ClancyCllr Stuart Clancy (Image: Broadland District Council)

"There was huge demand for this play area and the parish council invested a lot of money to ensure there would be facilities for children in Taverham.

"We need a zero-tolerance approach and I would support CCTV being implemented to prevent this happening again."

READ MORE: Calls for tougher action to deter arsons after series of derelict building fires

The play park was reopened in June following a revamp worth more than £170,000. 

The project included an overhaul of the site's existing facilities, alongside the development of separate junior and toddler areas. 

Eastern Daily Press: The trampoline was targeted by vandalsThe trampoline was targeted by vandals (Image: Taverham Parish Council)

"It's such a shame," said Samantha Salmons, clerk of Taverham Parish Council. 

"It wasn't just the council that was looking forward to getting this play area, but the wider community as well. 

READ MORE: CCTV appeal after £100 worth of products stolen from Body Shop

"The vandalism has now been repaired and the park is open for everyone to use."

Eastern Daily Press: The grounds of the play area were also set alightThe grounds of the play area were also set alight (Image: Taverham Parish Council)

Taverham is currently considered the safest neighbourhood in Norfolk, according to data from crimerate.co.uk.

With 30 offences per 1,000 people, the village has managed to keep criminal activity down in recent years. 

READ MORE: Opening date revealed as £1.8m community centre takes shape

"This is something we must stay on top of," added Conservative councillor Mr Clancy.

"Once the number of incidents starts to creep up, they quickly start to spread. 

"That's why we need a zero-tolerance approach and crackdown on this sort of activity before it can grow."

Eastern Daily Press: The play area opened in June 2023The play area opened in June 2023 (Image: Sonya Duncan)