Vandals cause £25,000 worth of damage after children's park torched

Play equipment in the Glasgow park was destroyed by vandals last month.

Glasgow children’s play park torched by vandals with £25,000 worth of damage done Glasgow City Council

A local councillor has hit out at the “sheer badness” of vandals after a children’s play park was torched following a £50,000 refurbishment.

The play area on Houldsworth Street in Anderston suffered more than £25,000 worth of damage in a fire on Sunday, February 25 at around 4pm.

A mini climbing frame in the shape of a train was destroyed at the council-owned park which was refurbished between 2020 and 2021 at a cost of £50,000.

The incident comes amid a spate of vandalism including at a recently refurbished play park in Bonnyholm Avenue in the Southside of the city.

Several pieces of freshly installed play equipment were damaged just months after the facility reopened to the public following a major upgrade costing around £160,000.

Vandals severely damaged a swing, a conical climbing frame and a see-saw in two incidents over the festive season and January 18.

Police Scotland said the fire is being treated as wilful and that enquiries are ongoing.

Councillor Ruairi Kelly, Glasgow’s convener for neighbourhood services and assets, said: “I cannot fathom why anyone in their right mind would do this.

“That expensive piece of equipment was installed in the heart of the community for the enjoyment of little children.

“It is absolutely galling that the time, effort and money put into the project has been destroyed for no reason other than sheer badness.

“It is a blow to the community and heartbreaking for the children who loved the train.

“A total of 133 Glasgow play parks are due to be refurbished by the council over the next five years at a cost of £6m, but there is no endless pot of money to continually replace equipment destroyed by vandals.

“The play park in Houldsworth Street is surrounded by housing, I’d urge anyone who saw anyone acting suspiciously in the area or who knows who is responsible for the fire to contact the police immediately and help them catch those responsible for this criminal and antisocial behaviour.”

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Around 4pm on Sunday, February 25 2024, officers discovered a fire at a play park in Houldsworth Street, Glasgow.

“The fire was extinguished by Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

“There were no reported injuries.

“The fire is being treated as wilful and enquiries are ongoing.”

A Scottish Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson said: “We were alerted at 4pm on Sunday, February 25 to reports of fire in the open on Argyle Street, Glasgow.

“Operations Control mobilised one fire appliance to the area, where crews extinguished a play park climbing frame which was on fire.

“There were no casualties and the crew left at 4.23pm.”

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