Ashburton District Council calling on community to help stop vandalism

 Incidents of vandalism in Ashburton over Easter show the issue is well and truly still at large and Council's Service Delivery Committee Chairman Stuart Wilson is calling on the community to come forward and help quash the problem.

Recent media reports have highlighted the impact on the community that this issue is having.

Ashburton District Council dealt with 20 incidents of road sign vandalism in March, had to replace five road signs in the CBD early last week and there have been ongoing incidents of graffiti in public amenity areas.  

Over the Easter Weekend eight trees around Ashburton Business Estate were bowled over by a vehicle and in Ashburton Domain near the children's playground a bollard was broken and wheelies took place on grass areas next to the playground and BBQ area.

Councillor Wilson says he is "disappointed by the ongoing incidents of wilful damage happening in rural and urban areas around our district. 

"If anyone witnesses a vandalism incident taking place, we'd really like to hear from them. It's about working together for a better community.

"This has been an ongoing issue for our district.  What you see or hear could be really important in helping us identify who is responsible and then take appropriate action, working with the Police.

"Any kind of vandalism is unacceptable but when road signs are deliberately destroyed it then poses a very serious danger for drivers. Without road signs, the effects can obviously be devastating."

The most recent spate of vandalism to road signs last week saw five signs deliberately shaken and pushed over in Ashburton CBD.

The signs were a mixture of give way and regulatory signs, and street signs on East Street, Aitken Street, West Street, Cass and Grey Streets.

This latest vandalism – believed to have taken place in the evening on Saturday 28 March and Monday 30 March - cost $2000 in repairs.  It is believed that people physically pushed the road signs over.

The cost to replace the road signs damaged in January was $6,570, in February, $1858 and in March, $5,597. These costs are at ratepayers' expense.

"My message is exactly the same when it comes to damage done to property in and around our open spaces such as cutting up grassed areas and damage done to trees which have taken years to establish. Please report what you see to Council as soon as possible," he says.

Page reviewed: 08 Apr 2015 1:10pm