ARSONISTS have destroyed play equipment at Dilkes Park in South Ockendon.
A YT reader sent us a number of photographs. One shows the equipment engulfed in flames and the other the sad charred remains.
We understand the alleged attack took place at approximately 6am this morning (Wed Aug 24th).
The equipment has been used all summer by children and families.
This week is looking like it could be one of the hottest of the year and so it is doubly tragic that families will not be able to use equipment.
An Essex Police spokesperson said: "We were informed of a playground fire at Dilkes play park in South Ockendon this morning at 6:45am, investigations are ongoing.
Cllr Rob Gledhill, Leader of the Council, said “Playground equipment doesn’t just spontaneously combust – someone or a group of people is responsible. I and the community are devastated that Â£30,000 worth of play equipment has been destroyed by what appears to be an act of selfish vandalism.
“The police are involved and I hope anyone with information comes forward – this isn’t just high jinks, but a serious matter and a crime against the whole community. Right now our priority is to ensure people can enjoy the wider park while work continues in the coming days to remove the affected equipment.”
Essex Police are appealing for anyone who heard or saw anything suspicious to call 101 and speak to PC Neil Brand from Thurrock Community Policing Team.