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7 June 2011, 15:46
Police are appealing for information and witnesses after a piece if playing equipment was deliberately set alight in Hitchin this weekend.
The incident took place between Friday night (June 3) and Saturday morning (June 4) at the King George v play ground on Old Hale Way. The middle level of the climbing tower, which was made of wood, was set alight causing it to collapse onto the ground level, destroying it and some of the vertical strut supports.
PC Kate Raine said: “This arson has caused a significant amount of damage and it is estimated it will cost £8000 to repair the climbing frame.
“This act has left local children without a safe area to play and I am appalled that people think this type of behaviour is acceptable in our community.
“I am asking for people who know who may have been responsible, or anyone who witnessed the incident to contact me as soon as possible via the non-emergency number on 0845 33 00 222. Alternatively, you can call Crimestoppers, the independent charity, on 0800 555 111.”
Cllr Ian Knighton, Portfolio Holder for Leisure at North Herts District Council, said: "This is very disheartening. The Council has recently spent £80,000 renovating the play equipment at King George V after a public consultation.
"This kind of vandalism means that young children can’t enjoy a much-loved playground and NHDC has to find money for repairs that could be spent much better elsewhere. We would appeal to anybody who saw or knows anything to please contact the police at once."