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Fury as Barnes Park Extension hit with repeated arson attacks

August 11, 2020 2:50 PM
By Stephen O'Brien

Freshly cut grass in the Barnes Park Extension between Grindon and Thorney Close has been set alight by vandals for several days in a row, prompting anger as homes and gardens have been put at risk.

Stephen O'Brien in the Barnes Park Extension

Councillor Stephen O'Brien at the scene of one of several fires in the Barnes Park extension

The Extension park has been subject to four or five arson attacks over the past few days, with youths setting fire to freshly cut grass.

Although the park is owned and managed by Sunderland City Council, grass in the park is cut by a local farmer who then collects it in the form of hay bales for use on the farm.

However, in the few days between the grass being cut and collected it has been set alight by vandals on numerous occasions, prompting anger from those living nearby.

Local Lib Dem councillor for Grindon and Thorney Close Stephen O'Brien reacted with fury, saying:

"Whoever has been responsible for setting these patches of recently cut grass alight are not only wasting huge amounts of the Fire Brigade's time and money, they are ruining the park for everyone.

"Local residents living nearby are having keep doors and windows closed until the fires are put out, whilst people with illnesses and breathing conditions are worried sick, and residents whose gardens back onto the park who are worried in case the fires spread to their properties.

"The huge fire at allotments in Southwick a few days ago shows just how much damage can be done when fires like these spread.

"Thankfully the fire brigade have been brilliant, but we shouldn't have to put up with these mindless arson attacks. I'm encouraging anyone who may know who is responsible to contact the police or the council so they can try and catch those behind these mindless attacks."