Words by Ed King / Pics and video supplied by Yvonne Hughes
CCTV has caught two lads stealing decorative flags and ripping down banners from a children’s play park on Castle Vale, hours before the country woke up to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
Paid for by local resident Yvonne Hughes, who lives on Castle Vale, the flags had been put up around the Children’s Play Park by Spitfire Way a week before – in preparation for the following weekend of jubilee celebrations.
But at around 1am on Thursday 2 June, two young men entered the children’s play area and began ripping down the decorations – captured on CCTV walking up to the park and plucking the flags from the railings.
Later one of the young men was seen pulling off one of jubilee the banners, also attached to the park’s railings.
Local residents were quick to challenge act of vandalism, with Gillian Graham asking: “Why do people always spoil other people’s pleasure,” and hoping the young men responsible “have a conscience and take them back.”
Other residents had seen the decorated park “yesterday and thought how nice it looks” whilst several gave reports of how they’d been worried about their own decorations getting vandalised or stolen.
Yvonne Hughes herself was angry at the attack, wanting to see Castle Vale “pull together” to tackle crime on the estate. But in the true blue stiff upper lip spirit of community, she added: “It’s not the flags, I can replace them.
“It’s just why, all they had to do is come and ask if I’ve got anymore – not come at 1 am in the morning (and steal the flags) … but never mind it won’t spoil tomorrow.”
Other residents were quick to offer support, rallying round to find new decorations for the Spitfire Way Children’s Play Area.
Recently elected Castle Vale Councillor Ray Goodwin asked for any evidence or CCTV footage of the crime so he could help “forward it to the right people”, whilst also joining others to help locate extra jubilee decorations to replace what had been stolen.
“I will be supporting residents to report the vandalism to CVCH (Castle Vale Community Housing) and the police.”
From Friday 3 to Sunday 5 June, the UK will be celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee – marking the 70 years Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has ruled over the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth countries, making her the longest ruling monarch in British history.
Born 21 April 1926, the young Elizabeth ascended to the throne in 1951 after the death of her father King George VI – retaining the name Windsor for the royal household, as it has been since 1917.
Vandals damage jubilee flags and banner – Spitfire Way Children’s Play Park