Dagenham Street Tag game halted after boxes stolen within 24 hours of launch
- Credit: Seun Oshinaike
An exercise game encouraging participants to tap electronic fobs on boxes around Dagenham has been postponed - after all the boxes were stolen.
The Street Tag game was designed to challenge participants in the Mayesbrook Park area to walk, run or cycle between the 10 special markers in an effort to win a new bicycle for each of their team members.
But within less than 24 hours of the game - a community health initiative by DigiLab and Barking and Dagenham Council - starting, it has had to be stopped.
Seun Oshinaike, from DigiLab, explained that the team had originally put the boxes up on Sunday, and that damage had been caused within hours.
“We put about six of them in the park and when we went back to make an adjustment we found it had been knocked off,” he said.
He explained that when someone went to check on the boxes on Monday night, they found that they had all been stolen.
“I’m not quite sure what reason someone would have to steal them,” Seun said.
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“It could be someone who stole them to try and sell the parts, or because they had a grievance.”
But the theft isn’t going to stop the game from going ahead - it will be relaunched, complete with new boxes, on October 9, and run for six weeks.
“We’re not going to let this stop us,” Seun said. “The new boxes will have extra security.”
He explained that the game’s premise had proved popular, with many people visiting DigiLab’s base in the Barking Learning Centre to collect their fobs sharing their reasons for taking part.
“We’d had a lot of people collect fobs and say they wanted to get active, or wanted to do something as a family.
“The fobs will still be compatible with the new boxes, and we want more people to come and take part, too.
A Met Police spokesman confirmed that the thefts had been reported, and were thought to have taken place between 8pm on Monday and 11am yesterday.
No arrests have been made and enquiries are ongoing.
For more information about Street Tag, visit newme.london/street-tag