September 26th, 2016

Last hope for Arrow Valley Park Peace Garden memorial

A LAST ditch appeal has been launched for the safe return of a memorial plaque that was stolen from the tranquil peace garden at Arrow Valley Country Park.

The plaque, which was originally dedicated in the 1980s to celebrate peace between Japan and Britain, was reported as stolen on July 23.

The theft is believed to have taken place between 3pm on July 20 and July 23.

The stainless steel memorial stood pride of place in the centre of the gardens – which were refurbished in 2004 to reflect a Japanese theme.

Whilst its estimated monetary value is not known, Ray Cooke, leisure services manager at Redditch Borough Council, drew attention to its sentimental value.

He added: “This memorial has been in place for a number of years and during that time has been looked after by the council and enjoyed by the local community – we would just like to see it returned.”

Visitors to the park have been left surprised by the theft of one of the site’s main attractions.

Rod and Barbara Mills, who enjoy walking in the park at least once a fortnight, said: “It’s such a shame – it was part of the gardens.”

A spokesperson for Redditch Borough Council said officals have been looking into the matter for the last few months alongside the police.

“Unfortunately we’ve not been able to track down the memorial, which was picked up again as part of an audit in the park. As one last attempt to get it back we are now asking residents for their help and input.”

PCSO Mike Smith added: “This memorial plaque will mean a lot to the people of Redditch and we would like to reassure residents we are investigating.”

Any local scrap metal dealers, antique shops or pawn shops who may have come across something matching the description of the plaque are encouraged to contact police on 101.