Victoria Park Playing Fields fire: St Albans council condemns “appalling act of vandalism”

PUBLISHED: 15:48 15 November 2017 | UPDATED: 15:52 15 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.

Archant

A fire at a popular St Albans playground has been condemned as an “appalling act of vandalism” by the district council.

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.

On Monday evening, vandals set fire to a wheelie bin and a treehouse structure at Victoria Park Playing Fields playground.

St Albans district council, who own the playing fields on Folly Lane, have now released a statement about the incident.

Head of community services Debbi White said: “Local families worked extremely hard to raise money from a crowd-funding campaign to help pay for the refurbishment of the children’s play area.

“It is a shame that their efforts on behalf of the community have been spoiled by this appalling act of vandalism.

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.

“I am sure many young children will be upset at what has happened.

“In order to make the site safe and secure, the tree house has been put out of bounds.

“We have assessed the damage and fortunately the overall structure is still sound.

“There is, though, a lot of charred timber that will need to be removed and replaced and that work could cost a considerable sum.

“We are obtaining estimates and will then consider our next steps.

“This was an act of criminal damage that we have reported to the police for investigation and I would urge anyone with information about who could be responsible to help them with their inquiries.”

Herts police said enquiries are ongoing and anyone with information to assist the investigation can contact them via the non-emergency number 101, quoting crime reference F1/17/5452 or report information online at www.herts.police.uk/report.

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