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Call to up security at park

Damage to the boat shed’s deck after being set alight on the weekend. PHOTO/CAL ROBERTS

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Vandals have yet again targeted a business in Queen Elizabeth Park, this time setting fire to the boat shed’s deck.

The arsonist’s victim wants more assurance from council that criminals will be caught and held responsible.

A roughly 30cm-wide charred hole was discovered on Sunday, and the owner of Queen Elizabeth Park Boats, Peter Douglas, said a step-up in park security was overdue.

“There’s a lot of money tied up in the shed there [with] all those boats.”

Douglas said his business had been broken into six times since he started operating five years ago, including in January 2017 when vandals broke into his boat shed to take ice cream, props and tools.

Peter Douglas. PHOTO/ FILE

“I’ve asked council for years to have a security camera hooked up outside – but no, they won’t.”

While there were security lights operating near his business, and Douglas had reviewed his own security measures, he said a camera was the simplest way to catch people up to no good in the park.

Douglas said there was more than arson on the agenda at Queen Elizabeth Park on the weekend.

“They skinned a deer and threw it into the lake behind the boat shed as well.”

The council’s community facilities and activities manager, Andrea Jackson, said security cameras in the town centre were monitored by police and random patrols of the park at night were carried out by contractors.

“Incidents like these were disappointing and frustrating for all involved.

“There have been a couple of isolated incidences recently – this included one animal carcass being left in the park.”

She said the council was not aware of another carcass being left at the park on the weekend.

“We hope that the whole community can recognise the benefit of these public spaces and work to ensure they are looked after.”

She said leaseholders were responsible for the security of their respective buildings.

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