WHAT an ordinary way to start the day.
Bathurst woke on Tuesday morning to the news that vandals had apparently found themselves at a loose end overnight and had been out looking for something to do.
For reasons that could only make sense inside a mind that thinks differently to the rest of us, the Bathurst Adventure Playground became their target and they set fire to a go-kart inside the learn-to-ride area.
Naturally, the go-kart was destroyed and the educational structure was also badly damaged. And for what?
There may have been some weird thrill in seeing the go-kart and structure go up in flames, but that can't have lasted more than a few moments.
What's left now is an eyesore at the Adventure Playground that cannot be used by local kids, brings down the entire aesthetic of the area and will cost considerable time and money to repair - just when council's staff and budget could be much better employed.
It takes a special breed of self-importance to wreak such damage on public property and it's to be hoped that the person - or people - responsible will be caught and made to face the consequences of their actions.
Ideally, we would like to see them forced to pay for the damage and even give their own time to repairing it, but that's an unlikely result.
The other conversation that will come out of this is the growing need for closed circuit television cameras across the region.
One argument against the long-running push for CCTV in the Bathurst central business district was that it might simply lead to vandals and petty criminals looking further afield for somewhere to misbehave.
It's doubtful that's what happened on Monday night but there should be no doubt that catching the culprits would be a much easier task if police had their faces on film.
But that's not the only point to consider.
As a society we must keep asking ourselves just how many cameras we are willing to tolerate for the sake of security.
Should we have CCTV monitoring all public assets to guard against such vandalism? At the same time, though, would we be happy to have cameras pointed at a children's playground 24 hours a day?
They are not easy priorities to weigh. Much better would be if people could simply respect the property of others, but that seems far too much to ask.