Wigan police urge parents to keep tabs on their children after playground arson

The torched playground
The torched playground

Wigan police are urging parents to keep tabs on their children after a children’s playground was torched on Monday night.

Officers from GMP Wigan West have reminded families that it is not “for police” to act as parents to their children.

The message comes just days after a large fire was set on William Foster fields in Ince, damaging more than £100,000 of equipment.

A gang of youths also broke into the changing rooms of grassroots football team, Wigan Cosmos, smashing windows and doors and taking the furniture to burn underneath the park

equipment.

Following the incident, police took to Facebook to appeal to parents, saying: “Do your know where your kids are, who they are with?

“It is not for the police to parent your children and respond to your child’s anti-social behaviour.

“This affects what the police can and cannot respond to.

“The Ince Bar at Smith Green is subject to repeated anti-social behaviour.

“It is all to easy to ask the police to attend but as parents you should be aware of where your children go, who they mix with and what they are up to.”

An investigation has been launched, with forensics visiting the site on Tuesday to collect evidence.

Devastated residents have spoken out since the incident, saying that they don’t believe the damage will ever be truly fixed.

John Pendlebury, manager of Wigan Cosmos, said: ““So much hard work has been put into this,”

“And now it is absolutely destroyed. They are going to have to rip the whole thing down.

Michelle Coulton, Donna Seddon and Linda Hesketh, who spent three years raising the money for the park, said that they are “heartbroken” and think that the damage is “irreparable”.

Anyone with information should call police on 101 quoting incident number 2479 of 18/02/2019.