THE chair of a public gardens plagued by anti-social behaviour is urging eyewitnesses to step up and report incidents to police - rather than post on social media.

The Rhyl Botanical Gardens has been the targeted by vandals in recent months.

Yesterday (Thursday) at about 11am, vandals dumped waste and glass from bins into an ornamental fish pond, destroyed hanging baskets around the garden's cafe and pull up the flower beds.

One eyewitness posted on the more than 8,000 strong Facebook Group Restoring Rhyl, describing being saddened by the damage and being appalled by the threatening behaviour of a group anti-social youths. The post has received more than 100 comments.

Janet Wright, chair person of the gardens, said: "It's a regular occurrence now the weather is warmer, the town's children don't really seem to appreciate what they have.

"That's not so bad, but I called the police late in the afternoon today and they hadn't heard anything. I went there at midday today and by then a lot of the damage had already been fixed by one of the council's gardeners.

"I wasn't shocked, just disappointed about yet another incident in the gardens and that no one had contacted the police by then.

"I've been saying it for a long while, and the police agreed when I spoke to them - members of the public really need to start reporting this as and when they see it happen so the youths don't think they can just get away with it."

Vandals have been particularly focused on damaging benches, many of which are dedicated with plaques by family members of past residents who frequently used the gardens.

Ms Wright added:"It's always very disappointing, at least once a week a bench is smashed up - particularly the one nearest the community centre.

"If people start reporting these incidents, the police can maybe begin to see a pattern and work with the council to monitor the area more. We upgraded our CCTV cameras to digital about three months ago, so if people give the police a reason to check them we can use them the way they're supposed to be used.

"The volunteers work so hard to make the gardens special, if we just let this happen it's not just damaging to the gardens but the whole area."