VILE racist jibes have been daubed on a recently refurbished part of a Wigan park, undoing hours of good work done by a community group.
Seven youths aged between 13 and 15 were stopped by police from Leigh Police Station after officers received reports of graffiti on the bandstand area of Leyland Park, in Hindley.
The group was spoken to but officers are still investigating and the offending graffiti has since been cleaned off.
Sgt Gary Wade, of Wigan police, said: “Historically, we have had lots of problems with youths causing trouble at Leyland Park.
“This is an isolated incident and we have identified the youths and interviewed them and will take appropriate action.”
Coun Jim Talbot, an active member of Friends of Leyland Park, which works with Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust to improve the site, said: “We are bitterly disappointed by this, especially when Friends of Leyland Park is trying to move things along with the park.
“To spray racist abuse is deplorable - where are they getting this sort of language from?
“Hopefully they will be taken to task by the police and they will stop offending.
“It is such a shame as we have worked really hard over the year to improve the park and make it what it used to be.
“It is the second oldest park in the borough, as we celebrated its 125th anniversary last year. We are desperately trying to bring it back to the way it was when we were children.
“Our group wants youths to be able to use this park, but by acts of mindless vandalism, they are just robbing themselves.”
Volunteers and members of Wigan Leisure Culture Trust worked to clean up the site and are busy preparing for its next big event on Sunday August 25.
Picnic In The Park will be held from noon until 8pm, hosting a variety of bands,
A Wigan and Leigh Culture Trust spokesman said: “The majority of people in Wigan take pride in their local parks and acts of vandalism like this one are completely unacceptable. WLCT staff work hard to keep our green spaces to a high standard and this graffiti was removed as soon as we were alerted to it. We would urge anyone who witnesses any acts of vandalism to please call our Greenspaces helpdesk on 486999.”