Vandals torch children’s playground

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Angry Burnley council chiefs have slammed “mindless” vandals who torched part of a children’s playground.

Yobs left a trail of destruction across Rakehead Recreation Ground during a spree of arson attacks throughout the Easter holidays.

Two wheelie bins were set ablaze which destroyed a bucket swing on the popular Sharp Street park and broken glass was strewn across the kickabout area.

Firefighters were called out to tackle blazes twice within the space of a few hours last Friday night as firebugs struck at the park.

Joanne Swift, head of streetscene at Burnley Council, said: “Mindless vandalism like this just spoils things for everyone.

“The play area is there for children of all ages to enjoy and this kind of behaviour simply isn’t acceptable.

“We will be working with the police to try and tackle this kind of wanton destruction and anti-social behaviour which, unfortunately, tends to peak around the school holidays.

“The play area is there to provide somewhere for youngsters to go and enjoy. All those responsible for this attack have done is take that away.”

Council officials have been counting the coast of the damage and have been cleaning up the destruction.

Burnley fire chiefs also slammed youths believed to be responsible for a number of fire at Rakehead park over the half-term break.

Acting watch manager Lee Pickup said the park had been plagued by deliberate fires during the school holidays.

He said gangs of youths had been spotted around the play area as fire crews were called out several times.

The acting watch manager added: “If we could speak to them we could educate them how dangerous it is rather than letting them keep doing it.

“Ideally we need to get through to the parents.”




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