St Albans playground set on fire

PUBLISHED: 15:30 14 November 2017 | UPDATED: 16:02 14 November 2017

The damage done to playground equipment at Victoria Park Playing Field. Photo: Lucy Povoas.

The damage done to playground equipment at Victoria Park Playing Field. Photo: Lucy Povoas.

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Brand new playground equipment at Victoria Playing Field has been torched by vandals.

The damage done to playground equipment at Victoria Park Playing Field. Photo: Lucy Povoas. The damage done to playground equipment at Victoria Park Playing Field. Photo: Lucy Povoas.

A tree house was desecrated after vandals allegedly put a blazing wheelie bin underneath the wooden structure.

Chair of the Friends of Victoria Playing Field (FVPF), Lucy Povoas said: “It’s disappointing, although there has been anti-social behaviour at the playground since it opened.

“It’s upsetting, but not entirely surprising.”

Herts Fire and Rescue were called out at 1am this morning to the Folly Lane park, and extinguished a wheelie bin which was on fire.

The damage done to playground equipment at Victoria Park Playing Field. Photo: Lucy Povoas. The damage done to playground equipment at Victoria Park Playing Field. Photo: Lucy Povoas.

FVPF have already spoken to Herts police, but as Victoria Playing Field is owned by St Albans council it is up to the authority to formally report the crime.

Ms Povoas said: “We will need to work out how to fund any replacements. It could happen again, but there is not an awful lot we can do about that.”

The playground was partially funded via crowdfunding, which raised over £68,000 towards the overall cost.

It was opened to the public in stages, with the tree house unveiled in September.

“It’s been an absolute boon for the community,” Ms Povoas said.

“To have this happen and not know whether it will happen again is quite depressing.

“The community has done this together, and FVPF have put their hearts and souls into this for two years, so to see there are members of the community who do not value it or do not see the benefit is disappointing.

“It’s a shame if they deter other people, as it’s a valuable bit of green space.

“City centre people do not have gardens so children can go to Victoria Playing Field and let off a bit of steam.”

Ms Povoas has asked anyone with any information to come forward.

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