'MUCH-NEEDED' facilities in a city park that were vandalised less than 48 hours after their official opening suffered smoke damage as vandals set fire to toilet roll, officials confirmed.
New toilets at the Kingston Recreational Ground in Fratton were revealed to the public on Wednesday last week following a petition signed by thousands of residents.
But the next day vandals caused 'minor damage' by setting fire to toilet roll in the facilities.
As a result the toilets, which are part of a new structure that also contains a cafe, were closed on Friday.
A spokesman for Portsmouth City Council said: 'There was some minor damage to the newly opened Kingston Recreation Ground toilets which meant they were closed on Friday and open again on Saturday.'
The council's environment boss, Councillor Dave Ashmore, attended the opening of the toilets. He said: 'It happened less than 48 hours after they were opened, it was an act of mindless vandalism.
'The toilets were much needed in the park. When they opened on Wednesday we have people queueing up to use them.'
He added: 'The whole point was that the old toilets were plagued with anti-social behaviour due to their position in the bushes.
'Parents didn't want their kids using them. The new ones are much better situated and we wanted to have the cafe next door to deter anti-social behaviour.'
The toilets and cafe have been built within wooden-clad shipping containers.
It is planned the cafe will open soon.