PICNIC benches in a Cirencester park were the targets of mindless vandals who etched swear words and smutty messages on the wooden furniture.

The benches in Chesterton’s Thistle Park were thought to have been attacked towards the end of last month.

Cllr Roly Hughes told the Standard that he was “livid” when he discovered what messages the vandals had left behind.

“I’m really not very happy about this. I just feel very hurt for the community,” he said.

“The Chesterton Community Project works to try and make the area better but when things like this happen it makes me think that we are wasting our time.”

The picnic benches, which were only installed six weeks ago, were bought by the local community group with money donated by the local church.

Upset resident Sarah Hughes, of Drift Way, said the obscene graffiti would have been seen by children in the area.

“I take my little ones there quite regularly and to see this type of foul graffiti is out of order. If they are ever caught, they should be made to clean it off,” she said.

Vandalism has long been a problem in Chesterton, last year red paint was sprayed on two sculptures at the Four Acres playing field and on children’s artwork in the Stroud Road subway.

The graffiti in Thistle Park has since been removed by members of Cirencester Town Council’s estate services team.