Police investigating Derbyshire Dales incidents of public benches vandalised with tools

Derbyshire Police are investigating a series of vandalism cases which have seen public benches damaged around Matlock, Matlock Bath and Darley Dale.

Tuesday, 4th May 2021, 11:16 pm

The first case was reported in early March, and targeted seats owned by Matlock Bath Parish Council on the Riverside which had just been refurbished at a cost of around £1,000.

The seats appeared to have been attacked with an angle grinder then repositioned, and after the refurbishment contractor had carried out emergency repairs, the benches were damaged again the following night.

Council chairman Peter Baranek: “We’ve been seeing a lot of vandalism targeted at Covid safety measures in recent months but I think this could not be described as passing vandalism. The benches were bolted to the pavement.

Two benches on High Tor have been sawn in half.

“We’re now left with more repairs for the contractor but the police don’t want us to do anything until their investigation is over.”

That incident was followed by two benches being sawn in half on High Tor sewn at the beginning and end of April.

Derbyshire Dales District Council, which owns the benches, confirmed it was dealing with the situation with police.

In a third case in mid-April, a memorial bench at the Whitworth Gardens in Darley Dale was destroyed.

The Whitworth Gardens bench had been dedicated to the memory of a deceased Darley Dale resident.

A police spokesman confirmed that they were investigating all four cases and said: “We are aware of the damage to other benches that has been happening Investigations are ongoing but we don’t think these are linked to the earlier case.”

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