Southside Park in Woodstock, Ontario was shut down at two separate times yesterday once thumb tacks and other sharp objects were found in the area.
Similar events have occurred as many as six times in the past six weeks, according to Brian Connors, the Parks and Recreation Director for the city of Woodstock. Another incident occurred at the end of last month in a water park, also located in Woodstock, with needles and thumb tacks strewn across equipment.
"There has been a few more cases, it has been going on for a few weeks, fairly intermittently, I would say it has been more than four, it is more like six cases, a lot of the time staff find it before anyone else and clear the area and make sure the police know and go from there." Connors commented when interviewed.
In this latest incident, according to Heart FM, sharp tacks were found during the checks performed when the park first opens. They closed the park to clean up and re-opened. But then later on in the day, staff found more objects, including screws and nails this time.
These incidents are also very similar to others in Beacon Hill Park, apublic park in Victoria BC, where people have been finding needles strategically places to prick random park-goers.
Connors claims that this is not an accident, but that rather someone in the community wants to deliberately hurt the children playing in the park.
"We have been asking the public, if they find anything to let us know. Staff do multiple checks on that playground area right now and if they do find anything, they go over the park with magnet to grab any metal objects that were left. They are doing their due diligence. We do have certified playground inspectors to go through it, to reopen it, to make sure it is safe and to make sure they are comfortable with reopening each time it happens."
"I think it is really important that parents when using the playgrounds and it is sad to say but for parents to do a sweep themselves, the staff can't be there always and we know we have someone in the community that is doing this and we really don't want to see any kids get hurt."
Anyone with any information on these crimes, please call 519-537-2323 or Crime Stoppers at 519-421-TIPS (8477).