Police appeal for witnesses after three Gosport play parks are targeted by arsonists

POLICE have called on the public to help track down arsonists behind a trio of attacks on Gosport play parks.

Thursday, 30th May 2019, 1:31 pm
Updated Thursday, 30th May 2019, 2:59 pm
The fire at the play area in Forton Road, Gosport, on May 18

It comes after yobs have deliberately started fires at play areas in Forton Road Recreation Ground, Alver Valley Country Park and Grove Road Recreation Ground in the past fortnight. 

The most recent, at the Grove Road playground on Monday, caused more than £3,000 worth of damage

A rope swing at the site, which was only renovated last summer, was left half-burned and the playground surface was scorched. 

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The fire at the play area in Forton Road, Gosport, on May 18

Inspector Richard Thompson said: ‘In the last two weeks Gosport has seen three incidents where play park apparatus has been damaged by fire.

‘It is very sad that these facilities, which are provided for the local community to use and have fun and for the younger generation to explore and build friendships, are being targeted in this way.

‘A member, or members, of our community have taken no regard for the effect their behaviour is having on the wider community as well as the danger they pose by starting a fire.

‘We are working in partnership with the local council to try and address this and prevent further incidents happening, so that more children don’t have to lose access to these valuable locations.

A half-burned rope swing, scorched rubber surface and exposed spikes after a blaze at Grove Road Recreation Ground, Gosport. Picture: Katie Kirk

‘If you have seen anything, know who is responsible, or have any information, then please contact the police.’

The fire in Forton Road, started beneath a slide, took place shortly 6pm on May 18. 

Meanwhile the blaze at Alver Country Park was started between 4.40am and 5am on Sunday. 

Anyone with information on the fires should call police on 101, quoting the crime reference number 44190183137. 

Alternatively, call the charity crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.