Police in Derry are investigating two separate cases of vandalism at construction sites in the city which occurred over the weekend.
Yesterday morning, at 7:55am, two youths were reported to have broken into a construction site at Daisyfield Park. It’s understood the youths hotwired a digger which was being used to carry out vital sewerage work on the nearby Foyle Road.
The youths then drove the digger through Daisfield Playing Pitches. Local Sinn Fein Councillor Patricia Logue says significant damage has been caused there.
In a separate incident on Friday night, a bulldozer being used to carry out development work at Brooke Park was set alight and extensively damaged.
Referring to the incident at Daisyfield, Councillor Logue said: “The damage caused to the playing pitches has meant that some weekend matches had to be cancelled and the building firm have estimated that damage caused to the digger could amount to around £1100.
“In both these cases the people responsible have caused damage to the local community and I’m appealing for anyone who might have witnessed the incident to come forward and tell someone so that we can put an end to this wanton damage.
“With the sewerage replacement work being carried out until Christmas, we can’t risk delaying that any further. That work is being done for the good of the community and to do that to the equipment at the site is just unacceptable.”
Referring to the incident at Brooke Park, SDLP MLA Mark H Durkan said he was outraged at the damage caused to the equipment being used to regenerate the area.
He added: ““This earth-moving machine was being used in the creation of the new grass pitch, a central part of the multi-million pounds regeneration of Brooke Park. This is a project that we have worked hard to drive forward and will greatly enhance the Rosemount area and benefit the city as a whole.
“It seems to me that this was a deliberate, planned attack as opposed to an act of wanton vandalism. However the net is result is the same; the work will probably now be delayed, site workers have been sent home as they are unable to continue carrying out their duties, a very expensive piece of equipment has been destroyed and this community is suffering.
“I strongly appeal to anyone with information about this incident to bring it forward to the police.”
In both cases, police have appealed to anyone with information to contact them immediately at Strand Road Police Station on 0845 600 8000. Or, if someone would prefer to provide information without giving their details, they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers and speak to them anonymously on 0800 555 111.