A set of swings was stolen from a children’s play area in Purton.

The theft of the play equipment from the park in Dogridge in the village was discovered on Tuesday by a parish council groundsman.

Councillors reacted with astonishment to news of the bizarre crime.

Coun Susan Relfe, chairman of the play areas and recreation committee, said: “It just beggars belief that somebody thought it was a good idea to take them.”

Her comments were echoed by chairman of Purton Parish Council Coun Ray Thomas.

“I just find it incredible the anybody would stoop to low to steal children’s play equipment,” he said.

The play area has been shut since last summer after social housing company Greensquare, which manages the homes in the estate, put up large fencing around the park. The council, which has been in discussions with Wiltshire Council about taking over ownership of the site, said it made it impossible for their grounds staff to access the park to mow it and carry out repairs.

In common with other play areas, the Dogridge park has been shut during the lockdown. The swings had been taped up to dissuade children from using them.

The theft of the swings has been reported to police, councillors said. Anyone with information is asked to contact Wiltshire Police on 101 or Purton Parish Council’s clerk by emailing deborah.lawrence@purtonparishcouncil.gov.uk.