Arsonists and vandals hit park

Hemsworth Water Park which has been targeted by vandals.L-R Bob McIntyre and Shirley Gilliver-Cooper
Hemsworth Water Park which has been targeted by vandals.L-R Bob McIntyre and Shirley Gilliver-Cooper
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HEMSWORTH Water Park has been targeted by arsonists and vandals in recent weeks.

Three life rings have been stolen in the space of three days and there has been a spate of grass fires in the last month.

Vandals have also managed to get two pedalos out of a secure compound and onto the lake and there was an attempted break-in at the boathouse.

Tina Pattison, clerk to Hemsworth Town Council, which runs the park, said: “Stealing the life rings is a very dangerous thing to do, especially with summer approaching. Luckily we keep spares and new ones can be ordered quickly but that is not the point. They cost around £50 to replace.

“We have the odd one going missing or getting damaged every year but three in a couple of days is just ridiculous.

“There has also been a lot of little grass fires around the Playworld area. Our security team has put some of them out themselves.

“It is getting out of hand. We have reported every incident to the police and fire service and will continue to do so.”

Stephen Fealy, manager at Hemsworth Fire Station, said: “We are working with the town council and I will be assigning the arson task force to also work with the council with a view to reducing and eradicating these nuisance fires.”

The town council is also holding an open day about the future of the park’s Windsurfer pub, which was closed in February 2009. The consultation will take place at the Hemsworth Town Council Community Centre, Bullenshaw Road, between 10am and 2pm on Saturday, June 18.

Councillors and the town clerk will be available to discuss issues and provide information relating to the former pub.

Anyone who is unable to attend can pick up a questionnaire from the community centre or the Kinsley and Fitzwilliam Community Resource Centre, Wakefield Road.

It will be available from Tuesday until Saturday, June 18.

Anyone with information about the crimes at the park should call the South Kirkby neighbourhood police team (NPT) on 01924 295415 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.