Pondlife vandals ruin it all twice in one week
A UNIQUE sculpture at a newly- renovated pond has been torn from its base in the second case of vandalism in the space of a week.
Wroughton residents and parish councillors, who have spent the last year pushing an effort to renovate Moat Pond, were dismayed to see their dragonfly sculpture and flowerbeds torn up in recent days.
Wroughton Parish Council is now urging any residents who have any information about the incidents, which occurred early on Saturday and Sunday mornings, to contact Wiltshire Police on 101.
Paul Hurst, chairman of Wroughton Parish Council, said the pond seems to be a magnet for vandals. He added that plans are now being considered to install CCTV in the area.
“Both the planters and the dragonfly sculpture have been ripped out during the last week,” he said.
“The sleeper beds have now been vandalised further over the weekend.
“Whoever ripped all the plants out of the beds and threw them in the road has now come back round.
“After the first time this happened they were all lovingly replanted. But then somebody has come along again, ripped them up and thrown them in the stream.”
The dragonfly sculpture and flower planters were all made specially by the property manager at Wroughton Parish Council, Paul Kemitz.
“The parish council has spent quite a lot of time regenerating Moat Pond and it looks magnificent now,” said Paul.
“During the wet weather we have had to keep it fenced off, but it has now been graded and seeded. We are having a meeting today to see if we can have an official opening of the pond soon.
“This kind of mindless vandalism seems to take place in the early hours of Saturday or Sunday morning.
“I think what they did was use the life ring to lasso the dragonfly and then threw the rope out until they got that entangled with the sculpture and pulled it out. It would have taken them quite a long time.”
“The sculpture itself was made by our senior groundsman,” added Paul. “He uses spare material to make things and he made this dragonfly, which is about six feet long.
“The parish council then got it galvanised and installed it so that it looked like a dragonfly just skimming the pond.
“A lot of people say we do not have crime in Wroughton, but it is often a case that crime just isn’t reported.
“The Moat Pond seems to be a magnet for problems like this. I know a lot of residents are appalled by it. If they see anything they should call 101 because it is very important the police know about it.
“One of the things we are discussing with Swindon Council is the possibility of borrowing some of their CCTV equipment and putting it up in the village. Moat Pond would be one area we are looking at.”
Coun Brian Ford (Con, Wroughton and Wichelstowe) backed the idea of surveillance cameras if the vandalism goes on.
“I hope the police catch these vandals shortly, and if it continues I will be talking to my officers to see if we can try to facilitate CCTV for the village,” he said.
“I would be happy to try to facilitate cameras if this behaviour continues.”