Stoke-on-Trent playground deep-cleaned after ‘disgusting’ teenagers spit on play equipment


Council workers were called in to carry out a deep clean of a playground after teenagers were seen deliberately spitting onto equipment.

Calls have now been made for action after the youths were spotted carrying out the ‘disgusting’ behaviour at the play area at Queen’s Park in Longton.

It comes as the UK continues to remain in the grip of the coronavirus pandemic, with more than 41,500 deaths caused as a result of the virus so far.

Covid-19 – which has killed 427 people across North Staffordshire and 204 people in Stoke-on-Trent – is spread through respiratory droplets.

The virus is thought to remain on surfaces for up to three days.

Lilian Dodd

Although teenagers are thought to be at low risk of serious harm from Covid-19, they can catch it and pass it on to elderly and more vulnerable members of the community.

Councillor Lilian Dodd – who requested a deep clean of the play equipment – said: “I had a report from a resident on Wednesday that a gang of teenagers had been seen spitting all over the play equipment.

“I rang the team at the council on Thursday to request a deep clean, because of the risk of the virus.

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“It is just unbelievable. We’ve seen some nasty vandalism at the park, with people smashing up bricks at the pavilion. But this is just totally unbelievable and disgusting.

“What they don’t seem to realise is we have got a lovely park which they can go into and enjoy whenever they like.

“I am going to speak to the police about this to see if we can have a chat with them about what they have done.

“I think they should be made to clean it up.”

The play area in Longton Park

Stoke-on-Trent City Council has now launched an investigation into the incident.

It comes as recent spikes in cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in Normacot, Silverdale and Stone.

If the infection rate continues to rise the city, or even North Staffordshire as a whole, could be placed under a ‘local lockdown’, as has happened in areas like Manchester and Bolton.

Council leader Abi Brown said: “We are investigating this matter.

“To deliberately spit on play equipment is disgusting and shocking, and is not acceptable.

“If it is done so with the intention to deliberately infect people, this is a criminal matter and will be investigated as such.

The play area in Longton Park

“We are currently an area of concern nationally for the coronavirus. This is incredibly serious.

“We all need to take personal responsibility by following all public health guidance if we are to kick coronavirus out of the city. We all need to be doing all we can to protect ourselves and each other.

“We will not tolerate this behaviour, and we will close equipment and public facilities if people wrongly abuse them.”





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