Worthing grandmother condemns heartless vandals

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A WORTHING grandmother has condemned the heartless vandals who set fire to brand-new playground equipment twice in the space of three days.

Mother-of-five Sandra Pease said she was “disgusted” by those responsible for setting fire to children’s swings, a zip wire and seating in Queen Street Park, off Queen Street, Worthing, on Thursday and again on Sunday.

The equipment, which her 11-year-old son Dwaine had used regularly, was only installed earlier this month by Worthing Homes.

Sandra, of Queen Street, said: “I’m absolutely furious and disgusted. It was put there purely for the enjoyment of the children, and the thugs have gone over there and destroyed the children’s fun.

“My son usually sits on his computer, but as soon as he knew the park was open, he was down there.

“Now this has happened, he can’t use it because his clothes will turn black from the fire damage.”

Sandra, 47, said the park had been enjoyed by all the children in the area but was now unusable.

And, because the park was targeted by vandals twice in less than a week, she now believed it was time for lights to be installed there to deter vandals from damaging the equipment. She added: “I’ve suggested introducing lights near the equipment.

“It might make a difference – at least I could see them from my window.”

Alan Rice, councillor for Gaisford ward, which covers the park, said: “It’s very disappointing. It’s a great shame that it’s been vandalised. Residents there had been waiting some time to get this equipment and I hope there’s some way to restore it.

“It had only been installed recently.”

Mr Rice added the council was considering adding lights to its parks but would need funding to do this.

Julian Pitcher, resources director for Worthing Homes, said the organisation would replace the park’s swing seats this week and was in the process of ordering the rest of the equipment.

Police said the fires were being treated as arson.

PC Mark Gregory said: “We are keen to hear from anyone who was in the area and who saw what happened.

“If you can, please call us on 0845 60 70 999 quoting serial 1914 of 21 April.”

n Arsonists targeted another Worthing park on Tuesday.

It is believed children set fire to a bench in Lyons Farm playground, between Sompting Road and Northbrook Road, shortly after 8.35pm.

And then, rubbish in the playground was deliberately set alight at 9.41pm.

Worthing firefighters were called to both blazes to put them out.