A STRING of anti-social behaviour at a popular park saw a group of revellers celebrate the New Year by causing 'criminal damage'.

Kensington Park in west Reading was hit by vandals and staff from Reading Borough Council were called to remove the rubbish.

A council spokesman confirmed a section of one of the football pitches had been scorched and a further visit will be required to assess the extent of the damage.

One neighbour, who did not wish to be named, told the Chronicle: "I am all for a bit of fun, but this issue got totally out of hand. We are talking about a major amount of fireworks and criminal damage.

"The council responded very quickly and have done a superb job, but the point is that they should not have had to clear up this rubbish in the first place with their limited funds.

"There was a lot of anti-social behaviour and it seemed to be extensively planned. There were lots of fireworks set off and bottles of beer left on the courts.

Reading Chronicle:

"Bags of charcoal briquettes were also left on the field after they had a bonfire and a lot of debris had to be removed.

"This was left by premeditated and organised revellers who even brought sacks of charcoal to build a bonfire on a pitch.

"Fireworks were let off in quantity from the car park area, cricket crease, ball courts, and pitch near the north gate.

"Some of the fireworks sport £40 and £199 price tags."

The park has also been ravaged with fly tipping for many months.

Thames Valley Police received reports about the damage following a complaint to the council.

A spokesman for Reading Borough Council added: "We received reports of fireworks being let off and starting bonfires in Kensington Park on New Year’s Eve.

"Members of the council’s Parks Team went out and cleared the site on Tuesday (January 2) morning.

"There was an area of approximately one square metre on one of the football pitches which has been scorched.

"Officers will inspect this to assess whether it will recover naturally or if further action will be required."