This was the aftermath – burned out bins and graffiti on the Pavilion.

By Bill Heaney

Mindless vandals have struck at the £1.5 million Cafe Pavilion and playground infrastructure in the middle of Levengrove Park in Dumbarton.

Just  a day after a spectacular display of ‘Blue Light’ first responders and enthusiastic volunteers took place in the park, thugs believed to be high on drugs and alcohol struck in the night.

The sickening mess and destruction they left behind at the Pavilion, which was built near the old bowling green and tennis court area, gave a defiant V sign to the police and Fire Brigade, who had given an impressive public display of their skills on Saturday.

And the much-criticised Council that created the amenity, which people constantly complain there is not enough of in deprived Dumbarton.

None of these organisations however, when called on Sunday night/Monday morning, was able to prevent the damage wrought by the vandals.

There has been increased use of the park in recent times with special events organised by the council and Friends of Levengrove.

Police Scotland Argyll & West Dunbartonshire commented: “After a brilliant event on Saturday in Levengrove Park, three young persons entered the park around 10.30 pm and willfully set fire to three large bins near the cafe. This has resulted in over £2000 worth of damage and taken our colleagues from the Scottish Fire & Rescue away from other potential emergency calls. We are investigating this incident and reviewing CCTV to identify those responsible. If you have any information, please contact us quoting incident 5127 of the 9th of September.”

Dismayed members of the groups and local people who enjoy the walks and amenities at Levengrove are dismayed by the mindless attack.

The Pavilion and children’s play park are within sight of the impressive houses in Clydeshore Road, Kirktonhill and Methlan Park, some of which are occupied by well-known politicians and celebrities.

Dame Jackie Baillie, pictured left, Dumbarton constituency MSP, said: “It is awful to hear of the mindless vandalism at Levengrove Park over the weekend.

“People could have been put in danger and significant resources were tied up in dealing with this incident at the time, leaving other people across the community at risk. It is unacceptable.

“If anyone has information on this incident, I would urge them to contact the police straight away so these perpetrators can be caught and brought to justice.”

West Dunbartonshire Council issued a media release which said: “We are extremely disappointed by mindless fire raising and graffiti in Levengrove Park which took place over the weekend.

“As well as graffiti on the Pavilion Café building, fires were set in three bins in the park causing significant damage and putting the whole park and its facilities at risk.
“This type of vandalism is not only very dangerous, but also uses up significant Council resource as we assess the damage and pay for repairs.

Councillor David McBride, pictured right, Convener of Infrastructure, Regeneration and Economic Development said: “I completely condemn this type of behaviour which could have caused significant damage to our beautiful park.

“The police are investigating this matter and I would ask anyone with information to report it to them on 101, quoting incident number 20230910-1134, or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”
There have been numerous complaints during the past year and previous to that that there are not enough police officers on foot patrol in Dumbarton or indeed across West Dunbartonshire.
And that High Streets, town centres and housing estates are often left without any police cover. The shortage of police has been raised frequently in the Scottish Parliament.

Levengrove Park and the Pavilion Cafe which is much used by the community. Top picture:  Fire Brigade demonstrate their skills at the Pavilion during Blue Light spectacular. Police Scotland said of the Blue Light Day: “What a day 👮‍♀️🚑🚒🚨Thanks to our fabulous communities for coming out to support our blue light event. We were amazed at the turn out and we hope that you all had a great day. We have met loads of amazing people. A massive thanks to West Dunbartonshire Council and all our partners for helping making this event a success.”

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