Red card for vandals after they wreck all-weather pitch

Community councillors Angela High and Joanna Jenkins assess the damage caused by vandals. (Pic George McLuskie).
Community councillors Angela High and Joanna Jenkins assess the damage caused by vandals. (Pic George McLuskie).

Community activists are calling on youngsters to give the vandals who have wrecked an all-weather football pitch by digging it up, the red card.

Members of Markinch Community Council have been left dismayed and angered by what they have called the “mindless vandalism of a few individuals”and have informed the police of the damage.

And they now want youngsters who use the pitch to come forwards and report thoses responsible.

Patches of the rubber surface have been ripped up, basketball boards broken and fencing damaged in the play facility in John Dixon Park in the last week, leaving the community council facing a repair bill estimated to be in the region of £2500.

“It’s hugely frustrating, the act of a few individuals have ruined it for everyone,” Joanna Jenkins, community councillor told the Gazette.

“Now the football cagehas had to be kept locked and off limits due to safety concerns and the threat of further damage, which has frustraited the vast majority of youngsters who just want to use the pitch for what it was intended.”

The community group took over the responsiblility for the pitch in 2016 after Markinch Plus, the group who originally had it installed, disbanded.

Now, with Fife Council unable to help, community councillors are left with having to raise the funds to have the pitch repaired.

“We’ll be able to apply forsome Common Good funding but that will take several months,” explained Angela High, chairman of Markinch Community Council.

“What we need now is the support of the local community so we’ll be asking shops and local businesses to take a donations bucket and in the hope that the public will dig deep help us to raise enough money to repair the pitch.”

The damage could also impact on the local primary school which also uses the pitch for sports lessons.

Volunteers say the first priority is now to make the area safe and useable.

“It’s a very popular facility within the park, what we want now is to see a self-policing element going forward by those who use the pitch, hopefully that will detur the vandals from doing this again,” said Angela.