Met forced to respond to rumours of nails glued to playground equipment

Met forced to respond to rumours of nails glued to playground equipment

The Metropolitan police have been forced to respond to rumours circulating online that nails have been stuck to children’s playground equipment, saying there have been no confirmed incidents in London.

In recent days parents’ WhatsApp groups have been inundated with reports that vandals have glued nails to children’s slides and other playground equipment.

The reports followed an incident on Monday in Marcham, a village in Oxfordshire, when about a dozen upright nails were glued to swing seats, a slide and roundabout in a playground on the local recreation field.

The nails were removed after being discovered by a local parent and the parish council put up notices warning people to be vigilant.

A spokesperson for the Thames Valley police confirmed that the force was investigating “reports of criminal damage” in Marcham and that no arrests had been made.

Mark Harvie, chair of Marcham parish council, said local people were horrified over the nails. He said: “Thankfully no children were injured. The village has a very vibrant community and incidents like this are unheard of. This is also the reason why the residents are quite rightly so disappointed and saddened to hear about it. The play area is widely used and has been on the village sports field for almost 40 years, and was upgraded only last year.”

The Marcham incident is believed to be an isolated one, but rumours have spread on social media One parent said: “A viral message [is] going round parents’ WhatsApp groups at the moment about people sticking nails to kids’ play equipment. It’s complete bollocks, but for some reason it’s gone nuts in the last few days.”

Pictures of nails attached to playground equipment have been posted on X and Facebook.

The Met said it was “aware of images circulating on social media showing nails attached to apparatus in children’s parks”, adding: “At this time we have not had any confirmed incidents reported to police in London.”

Richmond council, in south-west London, posted on X: “We’d like to reassure residents that the recent reports of nails being glued to children’s playground equipment are not in Richmond upon Thames. Our parks team will be carrying out additional checks to ensure our playgrounds remain safe.”

Marcham parish council believes the playground vandalism could be linked to a music event in the village at the weekend after a message left at the site demanded “no more fucking music … final warning or else!”