Vandals have targeted a new children’s playground in York, causing hundreds of pounds of damage and wrecking equipment.

In recent weeks, damage to the playground at Viking Road, in Acomb, has included children’s play mats being ripped up, equipment being damaged, and broken glass, litter and excrement being left strewn on the ground.

Caroline Ryder, head teacher of the nearby Carr Junior School, said local children had been left “extremely upset”.

The playground had been undergoing a £52,000 overhaul, as part of the Government’s Playbuilder scheme.

Ms Ryder said it was children at the school who reported the damage after discovering the wreckage last week.

She said: “Pupils at Carr Junior were very excited at the prospect of this play area and were involved in the consultation process on what to do with the money.

“That is why it was very distressing for a group of children who had visited the play area the other night to come across the damage that has been caused there.

“Mats have been ripped up, there is broken glass and somebody has even ripped out the kids’ safety bars. “It is very dangerous for any children to play there at the moment.”

Acomb councillor Tracey Simpson-Laing said it was sad to think a small group of individuals were spoiling the facilities.

She said: “The playground had not even been finished, but there was no security fencing stopping anyone going on it.

“I have spoken to the police to keep an eye on the place and I have the spoken to the council’s play division to ensure the area is safe until the area is finished and made safe.”