Vandals target park which has tribute to Philpott kids
A DERBY park which contains a plaque honouring the names of the six Philpott children who died in a fire has become a target for vandals.
The green space, in Tennyson Street, which was opened only in October, has seen a number of attacks.
The Osmaston safer neighbourhood team have received reports of graffiti being sprayed on to the sides of the play equipment and climbing wall.
Officers say screws have been removed from play equipment, which means it cannot be used, and the young trees planted around the park have been kicked, causing the trunks to split and snap.
Police community support officer Laura Hammond said: "It really is awful to see.
"The park has a plaque installed on the entrance in memory of the children who lost their lives in the Victory Road house fire.
"We hope that people in the area, in particular the youngsters who we believe to be causing the damage, will show some respect.
"The park is well used by young children in daylight after school but once it gets dark the problems begin.
"Our local Neighbourhood Watch have been helpful in reporting instances of anti-social behaviour on the park and in response we have increased our patrols and are now looking to find funding for lighting and a camera in the area.
"If anyone recognises the graffiti tags or if possible can give us a description of the offenders and the times when they are in the park, this would help us to identify them on our patrols."
The Osmaston Community Association of Residents, (Oscar) was set up two years ago to improve the area.
It campaigned to secure funding to get the park built.
A spokesman said: "This is disrespectful to the memory of those six children and we hope those responsible take a long look at themselves and their criminal actions."
Mick and Mairead Philpott, 55 and 31, along with family friend Paul Mosley, 45, of Cecil Street, Derby, all deny the manslaughter of Duwyane, Jade, Jack, John, Jesse and Jayden Philpott.
The six children died from the effects of smoke inhalation following the blaze, which broke out on May 11 at their home in Victory Road.
The trial is currently scheduled to start at Nottingham Crown Court on February 11.
Anyone with information on the vandalism can get in touch with police by ringing 101.