Playground vandalism touches a nerve in the community

CRIME is a reality in every part of the world.

To most, it confounds and outrages, but is also intrigues and piques interest.

As word spread about a spree of vandalism which targeted three popular, public sites in Tamworth, the outrage simmered and eventually boiled over on to social media where hundreds of people vented their dismay with scathing efficacy.

On The Leader’s Facebook page, we were inundated with comments calling for the perpetrators to be named and shamed.

Some called for the vandals to be paraded through the streets among other unsavoury punishments.

It’s fair to say social media, in Tamworth’s tiny corner of the world, went in to overdrive.

Oxley police shared stills from CCTV footage, which was met with equally vociferous outrage and, again, spread through hundreds and thousands of local social networks.

The police and the community got their desired outcome with two of the vandals charged and another teenager taken into custody.

Social media played its part. The police said the “response from our community and indeed the information that was provided to Tamworth police was outstanding”.

But the anger was displayed for all to see on social media and scrolling through was truly breathtaking.

Crimes happen everyday in our town and most towns, but the passion shown for a community playground damaged by vandalism could be unsurpassed.

Police applauded the first 19-year-old for handing himself in.

This response was also seemed to baffle a still seething community.

Which shows it definitely took some guts in light of the online vitriol to take ownership.

The online traction of the story could be testament to a number of things.

Perhaps people aren’t confident in the justice system, and fear if relative a slap on the wrist is handed down, it won’t go far enough to deter others.

Perhaps it speaks to a level of pride in the community that previously wasn’t as strong and the community is ready to defend infrastructure that makes the town great.

Perhaps anger is just the default response when the question of why something has happened is too hard to answer.

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