COUNCIL officers are struggling to cope with a spate of vandalism across Inverness according to a leading councillor.
Last month we reported on broken glass scattered around several city play parks including shards were found in a play area close to Cradlehall Primary School.
At the time, Inverness South councillor Ken Gowans blasted the behaviour of the culprits as "totally irresponsible."
Now he says such is the extent of the vandalism problem that Highland Council is struggling to keep up with the number of incidents.
Cllr Gowans said: "It's stupid behaviour which is a symptom of a wider problem and it is unquestionably putting unnecessary pressure on the council.
"It's very difficult to keep up with all the incidents.
"It also comes at a time when the council is counting every penny and could do without having to spend money on dealing with this kind of thing.
"It's a huge drain on council resources.
"We have spent a lot of money on parks and to see them then trashed is unacceptable."
Fellow ward councillor Duncan Macpherson believes vandalism, including graffiti, is a growing problem.
"It's not acceptable, and the cost of dealing with it means money is being spent which could be better used on other things.
"For example, the cost of replacing a perspex panel on a bus shelter is around £330. That's one family's entire monthly payment of council tax.
"It's costing everyone and we would much rather the money was spent on other services."
A Highland Council spokesperson said: “While we cannot quantify the level of vandalism in Inverness play parks, any vandalism anywhere in the Highlands is a complete waste of council tax payers' money as it diverts council staff away from delivering the essential services that are required.
"We urge anyone that has any information about, or witnesses vandalism to contact the police on 101."
A Police Scotland spokesman said: "Enquiries will be carried out where incidents are reported to police. Where offenders are identified they will be robustly dealt with.
"Police Scotland urges people not to tolerate vandalism or anti-social behaviour but to report them by calling 101 as promptly as possible."