A children’s playground in Mace Park in the seaside town of Dovercourt in Essex has reportedly been vandalised with antisemitic and racist graffiti, including swastikas. According to the Harwich and Manningtree Standard, the playground’s swings, slides and climbing frames were all daubed with racist messages.
In photographs published by the newspaper, a swastika is clearly visible painted in black on a pink swing and the word “Jew” is scrawled in black on the blue roof of a climbing frame.
Nigel Brown, Tendring Council’s communications manager, told the newspaper that “An officer has been over to inspect the site and it is our aim to have the equipment steam cleaned tomorrow to remove all the graffiti.” Dave McLeod, Harwich Town councillor for the area, hit out at the vandalism, commenting: “I am totally disgusted quite honestly. The park is somewhere for children to enjoy and people have spoilt it. What is the deterrent? Do we really need CCTV on our play areas?”
Local parents and families are reportedly furious about the graffiti and have spoken out in disgust. One grandmother who takes her four-year-old grandson to the park said: “What if my grandson was to ask me what it means? I wouldn’t know what to say to him.”