Crews called to playground 20 times in just two months
A Wigan fire service boss has issued a plea to parents after an adventure playground has been regularly targeted by firebug youths.
Watch manager Shaun Aspey said crews had been called to the play area at Lamberhead Road in Norley Hall more than 20 times in the last two months.
He has urged parents to monitor their children’s evening activities given the number of fires taking up emergency service resources.
He told the Evening Post: “It’s a great facility and the community is lucky to have it, there’s plenty of other areas across Wigan that would love to have something like this.
“People should be looking after it. On some nights we’re being called two or three times to the same spot and it takes up our time and resources.”
Youths setting fire to rubbish on the play area site in Norley Hall or wheeling bins under the equipment before setting them ablaze have become a regular occurrence, Mr Aspey added.
Fire bosses across the borough have previously issued pleas to parents to question youngsters if they return home smelling of smoke.
Mr Aspey added: “Parents should know where their children have been and what they’ve been doing.
“As I say, it’s a really good play area and these youngsters should appreciate what they’ve got.”
The nuisance fires comes just weeks after Norley Hall residents celebrated the adventure playground’s 30th anniversary with a community fun-day.
However, this play area is not the only one of its kind to attract the attention of marauding youths in recent months.
Alexandra Park in Newtown has seen similar problems with rubbish fires and anti-social behaviour.
Residents on Victoria Street, whose homes face the park, have voiced fears after seeing groups of boozing teens damaging fences put up around the equipment and causing children using the nearby play area to feel intimidated.
And a council cleansing team was called in last month after syringes left by drug addicts were found near to the equipment.
A town hall spokesman said: “Our cleansing team has been to Alexandra Park and have removed the sharps.
“Our anti-social behaviour team are also aware of the issue and we look into this matter.”
n Anyone who has witnessed incidents of ASB or is concerned about community facilities can use the council’s Report It app online at www.wigan.gov.uk/reportit