Thornes Park arson: Further images show 'serious' damage to popular Wakefield play area

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Further images have shown the extent of the damage caused to Thornes Park play area after it was set alight by vandals last week.

Last week, Wakefield Council launched an appeal urging the local community to help police find the arsonists who caused £80,000 worth of damage to the popular play area.

The incident, which took place on Wednesday, April 3, forced part of the newly refurbished play area to close.

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The council has only recently re-opened the play area in Thornes Park after a £400,000 refurbishment with brand-new equipment at the end of 2022.

The council have since launched an appeal to find the arsonists.The council have since launched an appeal to find the arsonists.
The council have since launched an appeal to find the arsonists.

Gary Blenkinsop, Wakefield Council’s Service Director for Environment, Streetscene and Climate Change, said: “We know how much local families have enjoyed the new play area and expect that they will be as outraged as we are. As a result of this damage, parts of it will remain closed until we can get it repaired.

“The police are treating this as arson, which is a serious criminal offence. And we will be looking to recoup costs from whoever is responsible. We can’t stand by and let a minority ruin things for our communities. And I don’t think local people want that either.

“If you know who has done this, report it to the police or council.”

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Following the incident, council officers will be regularly patrolling the park on an evening, along with a mobile CCTV van, to try and deter any further anti-social behaviour taking place.

Arsonists targeted play equipment in Thornes Park.Arsonists targeted play equipment in Thornes Park.
Arsonists targeted play equipment in Thornes Park.

Anyone who has any information about the arson attack or anti-social behaviour in the park is encouraged to contact the Police online via Live Chat or calling 101, quoting crime reference 13240179750.