Barking and Dagenham pay and display machines broken into using “chainsaw”

Vandalised pay and display machine in Abbey Road car park, Barking.

Vandalised pay and display machine in Abbey Road car park, Barking. - Credit: Archant

Five pay and display parking machines in Barking and Dagenham have been cut in half with what is believed to be a chainsaw, costing taxpayers thousands of pounds.

The spate of vandalism occurred in just eight days, between April 1 and April 9.

Four of the machines, which were found beyond repair and will have to be replaced, were located in Barking - in Axe Street car park, Abbey Road, Roycraft House car park and London Road - and the fifth was in Heathway, Dagenham.

Barking and Dagenham council has handed CCTV footage to the police to assist them with their investigations.

Darren Henaghan, corporate director of housing and environment, said: “We are sorry for any inconvenience to drivers, but unfortunately vandalism of pay and display machines has been on the increase in recent months. Axe Street Car Park has seen a particularly high number of incidents.

“These particular cases in the last few weeks have been particularly serious and will leave the council tax payer with a bill running into several thousand pounds.”

The council said the machines are emptied regularly and never hold more than a small amount of change, especially since the introduction of the RingGo cashless parking system last year.

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Ch Insp Richard Goodwin said: “The damage caused by these thieves is both expensive and inconvenient for local people. Police will continue to work with the council in order to identify these thieves and place them before the courts.”

Anyone who has any information is asked to call the police on 101.