Police have issued a severe warning to parents and children after play equipment was burnt down at a County Durham play area - leaving the items smouldering on the floor. 

Over the last few weeks, police have reported an increase in anti-social behaviour and arson incidents at Addison Park in Durham City, branding the behaviour of those responsible as 'mindless'.

The most recent incident has seen a group of youths burn down the newly installed Ninja Trail, which saw burn holes and big chunks of equipment being rendered unusable. 

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Police have confirmed that they have interviewed two youths over the interview and have warned other people involved that they will also be interviewed. 

In a post online, a spokesperson for Durham City Police said: "It's with great sadness that we have to report more mindless damage to Addison Park.

The Northern Echo: A council warden clearing the site after the arson incidentA council warden clearing the site after the arson incident (Image: DURHAM CITY POLICE)

"A group of youths have decided it would be a great idea to set fire to the newly installed Ninja Trail.

"We are struggling to understand why a new facility built for the benefit of local young people would be damaged by local young people.

"If you were involved in this we would like you to make contact with us and speak with us, your assistance in this investigation may prevent you from a trip to the magistrates court."

Durham County Council wardens are also involved in the investigation and have stepped up patrols at Addison Park. 

The Northern Echo: The burnt hole in the middle of the equipment The burnt hole in the middle of the equipment (Image: DURHAM CITY POLICE)

Durham County Council wardens put on their social media page: "Do you know where your children are? Do you know what they're doing or who they're hanging around with?

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"Neighbourhood wardens have increased patrols with Durham City Police around Addison Park, Durham following a rise in anti social behaviour and arson.

"A small minority are not only spoiling the area for younger children, but they are also placing a huge risk to themselves and others and we are concerned that the actions of these individuals are going to lead to serious injury or worse to themselves or others."

If you have information regarding this crime or any footage of the incident please contact PC Steve LARTER from the Framwellgate Moor and Meadowfield Neighbourhood team, email: steven.larter@durham.police.uk