Thousands of pounds worth of damage was done to new play areas across Thurrock last month — and Thurrock Council wants to put a stop to it.
Vandals have targeted four play areas where the council had installed brand new play equipment for local young people — in Corringham, Little Thurrock, Purfleet and Chadwell St Mary.
Cllr Val Morris-Cook, Thurrock Council’s cabinet member for Environment, said: “I want to put up a reward for the conviction of whoever is doing this.
“The thoughtless idiotic morons who perhaps got a moment’s so-called pleasure doing this have destroyed months of hard work and years of fun for children.
“The council worked with local organisations, schools and young people themselves to find out what they wanted to see at their play areas and now much of that effort has been devastated.
“I am so incensed, I am willing to put up £250 myself and the council will match that if the police receive information leading to the conviction of the culprit or culprits.
“We don’t know if the attacks are linked, but we are working closely with the police to investigate to the fullest possible degree — I want these vandals brought to justice and made to see and understand exactly what they have done.”
The play area at Balstonia in Corringham was targeted by arsonists twice — on the weekends of 12 and 18 September — the High House, Purfleet site was hit on the 18th and the play area at Delafied Park in Little Thurrock was hit on or around the 18th.
On Wednesday, 22 September play equipment at Aluric Close in Chadwell was targeted by arsonists too.
Anyone with any information is asked to contact Essex police on 0300 333 4444.