POLICE are investigating after art-minded volunteers reported the latest in what they claim is a series of thefts from two Barry parks.

Art4U co-ordinator Glyn Pooley has said a number of items including books, chairs and signs have been taken from The Knap Gardens and Romilly Park areas this year.

In the latest incident the Friendship Tree banner was taken from the entrance of The Knap Gardens late on Sunday, June 2, or early the following morning.

Mr Pooley said: “We had a chair and books - they were books on zen, a book called The Dalai Lama’s Cat, and meditation - taken from the bus stop exhibition at the Knap on Saturday, May 25.

“We had a handmade sign taken in February. And numerous other small items taken from the tree at The Knap and painted stones taken from Romilly Park in May last year.

“The objects are usually taken late at night of very early in the morning.

“They are not discarded in the park but removed and concealed."

He added he suspected the culprits were people unhappy with the Knap Gardens being used for public events.

“More than 150 volunteers took part in the Friendship Tree Festival this year and the overwhelming community response is one of gratitude and positivity," he said.

“Together we can rise above this type of ignorance and intolerance.”

He added: “Someone knows something about these incidents in the local community, if only they would enter into a dialogue rather than just pinching things."

A Vale council spokesman said: “We are aware that this item has been reported to the police as stolen and that there have been allegations of previous thefts relating to the Friendship Tree.

“While we are disappointed by such reports, we would like to remind residents that on public land property remains the responsibility of the owner.

“Any group or individual holding an event or carrying out work on council land must have prior consent.

“In this case, permission was requested and granted to decorate the Knap Gardens bus stop and erect a small art exhibition as part of the Friendship Tree Festival.”

A South Wales Police spokeswoman said: “We received a report of a theft of a Friendship Tree Festival banner from The Knap Lake and Gardens which was reported to police on Saturday, June 8.

“The theft is believed to have taken place sometime between the evening of Sunday, June 2, and Monday, June 3."

Anyone with any information can call 101 quoting reference 1900206297.