What are things coming to, your pal the Skipper wonders, when children as young as ten are ripping apart their local park and being given police warnings.

Obviously - or at least hopefully - the youngest girl reported on today’s front page is not the ringleader, but when the oldest is just 15 you have to wonder what is going wrong with these kids.

It’s easy to write this off as a bunch of little oiks, but there must be something more to it than simply a basket of bad eggs. It’s true that rotten apples exist, but a whole barrel at once?

It would also be tempting to utter the usual cry of ‘where are the parents?’ but according to police these children’s guardians were relieved they got a warning - hopefully it will sink in.

At the same time, the onus should not fall on the police to be reining in a child still in junior school. Parents have to take at least some responsibility for a child who must have homework to do. What about a reasonable bed time?

The saddest part about all of this is that these children’s actions will have caused sadness and disappointment for those not much younger than themselves.

Children choosing to rip up a play park is tearing apart the happiness of others. And at a time when funding for children’s leisure is running dry anyway.

That said, perhaps if there were better leisure provision for kids, in the forms of youth clubs or other social enterprises, they wouldn’t feel the need to tear down the nice things around them.