Vandalism at a village beauty spot has led to calls for help to Sussex Police.
Station Road Gardens in Billingshurst - described as ‘a little oasis’ - have been repeatedly targeted by vandals.
Now, following a ‘significant’ attack last week in which gates and fencing were destroyed, Billingshurst Parish Council has appealed to police for help.
Officers are now stepping up patrols in the area. A council spokesman said: “A regular police presence is desperately needed here in Billingshurst to urgently help us tackle this issue.”
The parish council owns the award-winning gardens and maintains them with help from local volunteers.
Parish clerk Greg Burt said the vandalism was an on-going problem. “What is really sad is, I’m guessing, that the people are harming the community in which they themselves live.”
He said volunteers put in a lot of work to help maintain the gardens. “It’s a real kick in the teeth for them.”
And, he added: “It’s not a victimless crime. The community has to pay for this damage through their council tax.”
The gardens - which this year won a silver gilt award in the South and South East In Bloom competition - were originally sports pitches for nearly 10 years before the pitches were relocated to Jubilee Fields.
They are now “a little oasis serving a multitude of uses,” said Greg.
As well as in increased police presence in the area, council wardens are also staging regular patrols in the gardens.
Meanwhile, the council is asking anyone who notices any anti-social behaviour to contact Sussex Police quoting reference number: DP-27477-19-4747-IR