Officers have condemned the actions of vandals who started a fire that caused £20,000 worth of damages to a popular village park.

An investigation has been launched after offenders started the blaze on part of the jetty and walkway at Ponteland Park, near Newcastle, completely destroying it.

The damage to the wooden structure near the lake, which is believed to have been committed between 12.30pm and 1.20pm on Monday (August 1), is so severe that a section of the park has had to be cordoned off from the public.

The Northern Echo: Damage caused in Ponteland park Picture: Northumbria Police Damage caused in Ponteland park Picture: Northumbria Police


Replacing the jetty and walkway is expected to come at a significant financial cost.

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An investigation has been launched to identify those responsible, in partnership with Northumberland Fire & Rescue Service, and officers have warned that anybody found to have been involved can expect to be dealt with appropriately.

Inspector Garry Neill, of Northumbria Police, said: “It is always incredibly disappointing to see damage of this kind which has understandably caused distress and anguish within the local community.

“The mindless actions of a few have resulted in significant damage – and their selfish behaviour now means that a section of the park cannot be enjoyed by families during the summer holidays.

The Northern Echo: Damage caused in Ponteland park Picture: Northumbria Police Damage caused in Ponteland park Picture: Northumbria Police

“We are committed to identifying those responsible and they can expect a knock at their door very soon. Enquiries are ongoing with the fire service and we are committed to bringing effective justice against those responsible.

“I would like to thank the wider public for their support and cooperation at this time, and we will use every tactic available to us in order to find those responsible for the fire.”

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Graeme Wright, Team Leader for the Community Safety Department at Northumberland Fire & Rescue, added: "Outdoor fires account for over 29 per cent of incidents that we attend, with 75 per cent of these being started deliberately.

"Whilst the risk of injury from outdoor fires remains low, the financial and environmental impacts associated with these types of incidents remain extremely high, as is evident by the damage caused at Ponteland Park.

The Northern Echo:

"Dealing with incidents of outdoor fires, where these have been caused deliberately, directs our time and resources away from attending more serious incidents should they occur.

"We are supporting Northumbria Police in their investigation and recommend any member of the public who has information to come forward and assist us."

Officers are now appealing to the public for any information that may be of interest to the investigation.

Police are asking shop owners in the area who believe they sold accelerant before the fire to come forward, while the public who were in the Ponteland Park area are asked to check any dashcam footage or CCTV.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police via the ‘Tell Us Something’ page of the Northumberland Police website or by calling 101 quoting crime number 090048L/22.

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