Wednesday 21 February 2024
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Nottingham

Police statement after vandals destroy Nottingham’s After Life bench

Police are hunting callous vandals who destroyed a park bench inspired by the Ricky Gervais show After Life.

The ‘bench of hope’, installed at the Arboretum and donated as a special place for people to visit and quietly reflect, was found completely destroyed, with damaged parts left strewn on the park.

Netflix After Life
© University of Nottingham

Streaming service Netflix donated benches to local councils around the United Kingdom as part of a mental health initiative to mark the third and final series of After Life.

The benches were commissioned with suicide prevention charity the Campaign Against Living Miserably.

Inspector Paul Ferguson, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “It’s sickening that someone would destroy this bench which provided people with a place for quiet reflection. It was completely destroyed, with damaged parts left strewn on the park.

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“Someone will know who was responsible. The bench was found damaged on Sunday morning (22 May 2022) although the exact time the damage was caused is unknown.

“We are urging anyone who saw what happened, who may have recorded footage of the incident or who has any other information which could assist us with our ongoing enquiries to please get in touch with us.

“We will do everything to identify the offenders who have done this despicable act.”

Councillor Audra Wynter, portfolio holder for highways, transport and parks at Nottingham City Council, added: “We were devastated to see that the After Life bench which has recently been installed at the Arboretum was destroyed over the weekend. It’s been a symbol of hope and support to many people off the back of the Netflix series with Ricky Gervais which shone a light on loss, bereavement and mental health.

“This is mindless vandalism and in no way reflects how people in Nottingham look out for each other.

“We thank the member of public who alerted us to this and took the time to collect all the damaged sections. The next step will be to look at how we can replace this bench as quickly as possible.”

Anyone with any information about the incident is urged to call Nottinghamshire Police on 101, quoting crime occurrence 22000294280.

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