LARGE sections of a metal footbridge and a gate designed by St Helens schoolchildren have been stolen from a community park.
The items, described as “irreplaceable pieces of street art”, were stolen by metal thieves from the Sutton Millennium Green site.
Metal handrails and fencing have also been stolen and police have seized broken hacksaw blades and various other cutting tools as part of their investigations.
In a separate incident, thieves were disturbed at about 2pm on February 19 before they had chance to load gates from the newly refurbished entrance to Sankey Valley at Blackbrook.
The gates were specially designed for the park and have the words Sankey Valley emblazoned on them.
Coun Alison Bacon, St Helens Council’s cabinet member for environmental protection, condemned the thefts.
She said: “Much of this work was designed in partnership with local communities and children. It is heartbreaking to witness. What makes this worse is that we believe that the metal is being melted down in scrap yards many miles away from St Helens.”
Metal thefts, especially steel, have become increasingly common in recent years. Anyone with any information about the thefts can call police on 0151 709 6010, Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or the council on 01744 456789.