Broken street lamp the latest costly incident of Stray vandalism

The busted lamp. Picture: Twitter/PositivelyHgte
The busted lamp. Picture: Twitter/PositivelyHgte

A smashed street lamp is the latest in a string of frustrating and costly vandalism in Harrogate's Stray.

The lamp post was snapped off and the globe smashed overnight on Thursday April 4 near Christ Church.

Harrogate Borough Council leader Richard Cooper expressed frustration at the latest incident of vandalism in the iconic parkland.

"It costs every taxpayer money to put this right, which is money that can't be spend on things residents can benefit from and enjoy," Coun Cooper said.

He added that the Stray's large size meant protecting it from vandalism couldn't be left solely to police or surveillance.

"The Stray is an enormous place and we can't cover it all with CCTV and we can't have police there 24/7 waiting for these incidents," he said.

"What we need is for parents to report if they think their children are involved, or for responsible people to report if they think their friends or colleagues are involved.

He also said that the council would bring legal action against anyone identified in acts of vandalism.

"If we do know who this is, we will prosecute them - that is non-negotiable."

UPDATE:

North Yorkshire County Councillor Don Mackenzie said he had reported the damage to the county council's head of street lighting as an urgent matter since the broken column was likely to be hazardous due to being electrically live.

A team visited the site immediately and secured it, identifying that the damage done was to the hinge mechanism which is reusable.

Such hinged columns are generally used on footpaths rather than on the highway.

The only part in need of replacement is the heritage lantern, which will happen as soon as possible according to the county councillor.

From October last year the Stray saw an outbreak of vandalism where trees were burnt and saplings broken while in September cherry trees were attacked on the Stray near Tewit Well, leading to the Stray Defence Association to call for more "robust approach" in preventing and dealing with offenders.

Lachlan Leeming, Local Democracy Reporter