THIEVES have stolen safety mats from a children’s play area in Langley Mill causing £3,000 of damage.
The 41 specialised black rubber rectangular tiles went missing from the Queen Street Recreation Ground over the Easter Bank Holiday period. The mats measuring 1.5 metres by a metre, are used to reinforce the turf beneath play equipment such as swings and slides, to act as a safety surface.
Amber Valley Borough Council landscape workers noticed the tiles had been taken during a routine visit to the site.
Simon Gladwin, council assistant director of landscape services, said: “These tiles are designed and installed to protect children using the play equipment. The mats were securely fastened together and well established so it would have taken some serious effort and time to remove so many.
“This is quite simply a despicable act of criminal damage and theft, which has cost the taxpayer thousands of pounds.”
He said the theft had been reported to police and the authority was urginganyone with information to connect officers on the 101 number.