Kids reduced to tears after new play area in Central Park, Harold Hill, destroyed by arsonists

The newly revamped children's play area was badly arson-damaged. Picture: Marc Ayres

The newly revamped children's play area was badly arson-damaged. Picture: Marc Ayres - Credit: Archant

Children have been reduced to tears and residents left “shocked and upset” after arsonists caused severe fire damage to a new play area in Harold Hill.

Children have been left in tears by the damage. Picture: Marc Ayres

Children have been left in tears by the damage. Picture: Marc Ayres - Credit: Archant

The vandals struck at Central Park on Friday night, setting ablaze the climbing frame and slide, and causing scorch damage to the specialist soft ground.

The play area has only been open for a couple of weeks. Picture: Marc Ayres

The play area has only been open for a couple of weeks. Picture: Marc Ayres - Credit: Archant

The revamped play area had only opened two weeks ago and had been well-received by youngsters, parents said.

It formed part of Havering’s Council’s £1.5m investment into the park and followed consultation with 1,500 residents.

Resident Marc Ayres, whose daughter used the site, said: “For this to happen has shocked and upset many people round here. This play area is fantastic for the kids and my daughter loved it. Such a shame.”


You may also want to watch:


Mum Dawn Simson said: “The new park they built was wonderful, I took my son there and he loved it. Parents are disgusted [by the arson] and something needs to be done.”

Others have been voicing their anger on Twitter.

Most Read

Emma Tate wrote: “Absolutely gutted, Central Park [play area] has been burnt down. Kids loved it. Any chance they would rebuild it?”

Andrew Jeffrey added: “Kids crying regarding the fire in the park’s new play site, poor kids, the police need to find [the perpertrators].”

Check back here for updates.

Let the Recorder know how you feel about the arson. Email jane.ball@archant.co.uk or call 020 8477 3878.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter