SHEEP installed on Southwick Green were ripped up and vandalised just one week after the unveiling ceremony.
The wooden trio, called Winnie, Bramble and Ken, were rescued by Adur District Council’s parks team on Friday night.
One had been dragged halfway down the green and one was left with a damaged ear.
Southwick Green Community Team, which arranged for the installation following donations to the project, said members were surprised and ‘wanted to cry’.
Posting on Facebook, they said: “We are very upset with whoever thought this was a good idea to damage these lovely additions to our park. We have informed the police.
“We suspect it is once again bored teenagers or people with too much beer inside them messing around. Honestly, we wonder why we bothered sometimes but we know that all of you who love and play in the park want to make this work.”
Parents have already been helping the team to keep an eye on the new play area but a ‘rallying cry’ has been put out for more organised action.
Spokesman Fiona Dunn said: “We have had to call the police a number of times. We are asking the council for CCTV and will be setting up a Park Watch group.
“Getting the community to work together is the only way to beat this. The more it is highlighted, the more the message filters through.
“We have seen teenagers down there who are perfectly nice, just sitting there because they have nowhere else to go. If they want to sit there and chat, perhaps they could work with us. The more teenagers who look after the park, the better.”
Any information about Friday’s vandalism should be passed on to Sussex Police on 101, using reference number 817 of 28th September.
Keith Dollemore, executive member for the environment at Adur District Council, said: “I am very disappointed that someone decided to vandalise the Southwick Green sheep on Friday night and it is only the swift actions from the council’s parks team which prevented further damage occurring over the weekend.
“We are in the process of repairing the sheep prior to reinstalling them on the green, with even more heavy duty fixings, and hope to have them back on site early in October.
“I hope that the sheep won’t be the target of malicious vandalism again. If they are, we’ll have to take a view of their future on the site – whether we remove them entirely or divert money from other projects to install CCTV cameras to watch over them.”
A Sussex Police spokesman said: “At 2.30pm on Monday, we received a report that damage estimated at £400 had been caused to a wooden play sheep at the Southwick Green play area.
“The caller did not say when the damage was believed to have been caused.”
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