'Shameless' vandals trash bench installed by youngsters working to improve Knottingley estate

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A bench installed by a youth group as part of improvements to a Knottingley estate has been vandalised by yobs.

The bench sits along The Lanes footpath and was put in place as a resting point for elderly people and young families, making their way from the Warwick Estate to De Lacy Academy and Ash Grove surgery.

The trashed bench. Picture by West Yorkshire Police.

The trashed bench. Picture by West Yorkshire Police.

Police, who helped to fund the bench, condemned the vandals' 'shameless behaviour' after discovering it had been trashed.

Junior neighbourhood team the Warwick Watchers purchased the seat in 2015. It was part of a two year group project, costing nearly £10,000, to revamp the footpath, which is used by many as a shortcut.

The West Yorkshire Police Pontefract and Knottingley Neighbourhood Policing Team said: "The ten thousand pound project that was funded by money from the Safer Communities Fund was completed and officially opened in 2015.

"It was aimed at creating a safe route to school and a short cut for elderly residents to be able to reach their local doctors.

"Two benches were put in place in order to provide a resting point along the way, however we have now discovered that one has been damaged.

"We hope that whoever has committed this crime is very proud of themselves."

The Warwick Watchers, which formed in 2013, is made up of 11 to 19-year-olds who work hard to better their area.

Their projects have attracted praise from the police force and local community - but it is not the first time their work has been blighted by yobs.

Just weeks before the official opening of the footpath by West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson in August 2015, its benches were vandalised.

Anyone with information about the latest damage is asked to call PCSO Aaron Riley on 07793 219079.