Po­lice pur­sue park ar­son­ists

Pilbara News - - News - Ali­cia Per­era

Po­lice are still in­ves­ti­gat­ing a de­lib­er­ately lit play­ground fire in a Kar­ratha park early last week.

Kar­ratha po­lice and the De­part­ment of Fire and Emer­gency Ser­vices were called to a fire at Mal­ster Park about 5pm on the Mon­day, which was a Pil­bara public hol­i­day.

An ac­cel­er­ant was used in the blaze, which burnt plas­tic play­ground equip­ment and some of the metal frame­work, caus­ing more than $20,000 worth of dam­age be­fore DFES of­fi­cers put it out.

Kar­ratha po­lice of­fi­cer-in-charge Sen. Sgt An­drew Stevens said they had heard chil­dren were in the area at the time.

There was no CCTV footage of the park, but Sen. Sgt Stevens said of­fi­cers hoped some­one in the area had seen some­thing or that prop­er­ties on ad­join­ing streets might have their own footage that could as­sist po­lice.

The fire is not the first in­stance of sig­nif­i­cant prop­erty dam­age in a Kar­ratha park this year. In March, Bayn­ton West Park, in­clud­ing the chil­dren’s play­ground, was hit by a heavy graf­fiti at­tack, with deroga­tory com­ments scrawled in an overnight in­ci­dent.

Kar­ratha Mayor Pe­ter Long said the Mal­ster Park fire had caused se­vere dam­age to a val­ued public space.

“The City spends a lot of time and money en­sur­ing play­ground fa­cil­i­ties are main­tained to a high stan­dard for the com­mu­nity,” he said.

“It is ex­tremely dis­ap­point­ing that these fa­cil­i­ties are clearly not val­ued by some mem­bers of the com­mu­nity as demon­strated by the reck­less and dan­ger­ous act that de­stroyed the Mal­ster Park play­ground.”

He said the play­ground would re­main closed as the City in­ves­ti­gated re­pair op­tions.

Sen. Sgt Stevens said the fire had caused ex­ten­sive dam­age.

Po­lice would like to speak to any­one who was in the area from 4pm-5pm last Mon­day who might have seen sus­pi­cious peo­ple or ac­tiv­i­ties in the park. To re­port in­for­ma­tion to po­lice, call Crime Stop­pers on 1800 333 000.

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