Fury as hundreds of metal nails found in park

Michelle Partington with Charlie-Joe, nine, Kennidi, seven, and Mia, two
Michelle Partington with Charlie-Joe, nine, Kennidi, seven, and Mia, two

A FURIOUS parent has spoken of his horror after hundreds of dangerous nails were found scattered around a children’s play area over the weekend.

Chris Koven was celebrating his nine-year-old son, Charlie-Joe’s birthday on Sunday afternoon (July 27), with partner Michelle Partington, family and friends, at the Lion’s Den play area, in The Green, Littlehampton, when the metal tacks were discovered.

One of them had punctured his son’s football.

A brief search by Chris, 33, and family friends Lee Sutton and Chris Smith revealed about 150 nails had been spread around the play area and the nearby barbecue pits.

Mr Koven, of New Road, Littlehampton, said: “I can’t imagine what sort of person would do a thing like that. Someone would have had to walk up and down the play park and barbecue area to spread them out like they did. The tacks were all over the place. I just cannot understand what sort of sick person would deliberately go out of their way to hurt some of the most vulnerable people in society and dogs.”

Mr Koven said a seven-year-old girl’s foot had been injured by one of the discarded nails and another adult had a nail pierce through their flip-flop.

The photographer has since contacted police on their non-emergency number 101 to inform them of his issue.

He added: “When I was a kid I did some pretty stupid things. But something like this would never have crossed my mind. It’s highly irrational thought.”

The park is managed by Arun District Council, which had received no calls about the issue over the weekend.

However, when Arun was alerted on Monday, it took immediate action, with the authority’s chief executive Nigel Lynn saying he was ‘disgusted’ by the incident.

“I am appalled and disgusted that an individual or group of people have tried to spoil the fun of the hundreds of people who enjoy this stretch of the seafront every day at this time of year,” he said. “Their actions could have caused a nasty injury.”

Arun contractors, ISS Facility Services Landscaping, visited the site on Monday to ensure it was safe. A team from Littlehampton Town Council along with trader Tyndall Jones – who used a metal detector – also assisted with the clear-up.