Children have been left devastated after their play area was reduced to ashes in Alexandra Park, Parkstone.
Police were notified of a fire at Alexandra Park children’s play area in Parkstone at roughly 2:20am on Sunday the 23rd of January 2022.
Fire fighters from Westbourne were sent to Alexandra Park to stop the fire. The crew used one hose to stop the burning of the equipment at the council-owned playground in Poole.
The damaged play area is currently closed off to the public.
The cause of the fire is currently unknown; however, residents and community leaders have expressed concern it could be suspicious.
Previously, the area has been hit by a spate of anti-social behaviour in recent years, and it is one of the top areas police patrol as part of an effort named Operation Nova last year.
Verna Grant, a local dogwalker said: “The fire happened about 2am, it’s dreadful really.”
Kris Wilson, another local, also expressed her sentiments saying how devastating it was for the kids.
“All that work gone into new equipment and its gone up in flames”
Liisa White, who lives opposite the park, also spoke about the effect on the children, who now can’t access a playground which was used a lot by the local community.
Children were devastated
“This morning I was walking the dog round the park and there were people taking their children to school,
“The children were devastated and saying how upset they were that the park’s been burnt down, so I think there’s a lot of upset people.”
The fire caused extensive damage to equipment within the play area and Police believe that the fire was deliberately started.
A spokesperson for Dorset Police said: “I am appealing to anyone who may have witnessed suspicious activity in the area, or knows who was responsible for this mindless damage, to please contact Dorset Police.
“This play park is used by so many children and unfortunately it will now be closed for some time while it is repaired.
“We have received reports that four people were seen to leave the park shortly after the incident and I would please ask anyone with home CCTV systems in that area to please check their footage and contact us if they find anything that may assist our investigation.
“Officers from the local neighbourhood policing team are aware of the incident and can be approached with any concerns.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact Dorset Police at www.dorset.police.uk/do-it-online, via email email@example.com or by calling 101, quoting occurrence number 55220013278. Alternatively, to stay 100 per cent anonymous, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers online at Crimestoppers-uk.org or call Freephone 0800 555 111.