Children's playground wrecked in Blackburn fire

RESIDENTS told how they ‘fear for their lives’ after suffering years of torment from gangs of youths lighting bonfires on a children’s play park.

They said the site in Kendal Street, Blackburn had become a no-go zone for families and described it as a ‘ghost park’ after being subjected to more than five years of neglect, fly-tipping and deliberate fires.

The latest fire was set on Thursday evening which left three square metres of tarmac damage, in addition to earlier fence and climbing frame damage.

Blackburn with Darwen Council blamed budget cuts for the lack of maintenance.

Noor Mohammad, chairman of the nearby Masjid-E-Raza mosque, who lives next to the park, said: “Everyone around here is scared of coming out at night because of these kids.

“It seems to be happening every other night.

“Along with the bonfire damage to the surface, the playing facilities are in disrepair, the fences are broken and people fly-tip here every day.

“It’s not looked after at all and something needs to be done as soon as possible.”

Imran Ali, who has lived close to the park all his life, said: “If the council do not want to do anything about this park then they should hand it over to the community and let us make the most of the space.

“We could turn some of it into extra parking, which we really need, and make sure the rest of it is a nice area for kids to play.

“People fear for their lives every night because of these youths and it’s getting worse every week.

“It’s turning into a ghost park and the community are afraid of speaking out at the youths because they just throw fireworks and burning rubbish into people’s back gardens.”

Mother-of-one Anisha Patel, who lives in Kendal Street, said: “It’s a place that no parent would want their kids playing because it’s so dangerous.

“The number of fires seem to have increased since bonfire night and they are almost happening on a daily basis.

“If the council came to clear up the rubbish and repair the park then maybe that would put these youths off.”

Blackburn’s lead member for environment, Coun Shaukat Hussain said: “I am saddened to hear that reckless arsonists started a fire near a play area. Luckily, however no-one was hurt.

“I can assure concerned residents that we are working to improve and maintain the area but budget cuts and this fire only make this task more difficult.

“I will oversee our investigation into this fire and hopefully working in partnership with the police, fire service and local residents we will bring the culprits to justice.”

Comments (6)

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1:44pm Sat 16 Nov 13

vicn1956 says...

Video evidence?
But will the police turn up?
Video evidence? But will the police turn up? vicn1956

2:11pm Sat 16 Nov 13

Davelyn says...

Why not build another mosque on the land. Blackburn could always manage another one.
Why not build another mosque on the land. Blackburn could always manage another one. Davelyn

6:55pm Sat 16 Nov 13

buckoff says...

Stop waiting for handouts and have a whip round and do it yourself. Why when people see there own neighbourhood in a mess they complain and moan just get off your backsides and do it yourself. Set up a neighbourhood watch and get in touch with your community bobby. Involve the kids and have a big clean up weekend Your neighbourhood your filth clean it or live with it!!
Stop waiting for handouts and have a whip round and do it yourself. Why when people see there own neighbourhood in a mess they complain and moan just get off your backsides and do it yourself. Set up a neighbourhood watch and get in touch with your community bobby. Involve the kids and have a big clean up weekend Your neighbourhood your filth clean it or live with it!! buckoff

7:26pm Sat 16 Nov 13

woolywords says...

buckoff wrote:
Stop waiting for handouts and have a whip round and do it yourself. Why when people see there own neighbourhood in a mess they complain and moan just get off your backsides and do it yourself. Set up a neighbourhood watch and get in touch with your community bobby. Involve the kids and have a big clean up weekend Your neighbourhood your filth clean it or live with it!!
It never ceases to amaze me how, such a closely-knit community, who have a penchant for watching the activities of others in area, succinctly fail to notice acts such as these whenever they happen.
Someone, within your group, knows whom perpetrated these acts and yet there is a presumption that outside agencies have to provide funds, which you seek to have financial control over, as it's your community, yet you do nothing to bring the guilty to justice.
I'd reciprocate what you give us, nothing!
[quote][p][bold]buckoff[/bold] wrote: Stop waiting for handouts and have a whip round and do it yourself. Why when people see there own neighbourhood in a mess they complain and moan just get off your backsides and do it yourself. Set up a neighbourhood watch and get in touch with your community bobby. Involve the kids and have a big clean up weekend Your neighbourhood your filth clean it or live with it!![/p][/quote]It never ceases to amaze me how, such a closely-knit community, who have a penchant for watching the activities of others in area, succinctly fail to notice acts such as these whenever they happen. Someone, within your group, knows whom perpetrated these acts and yet there is a presumption that outside agencies have to provide funds, which you seek to have financial control over, as it's your community, yet you do nothing to bring the guilty to justice. I'd reciprocate what you give us, nothing! woolywords

6:35am Sun 17 Nov 13

Excluded again says...

vicn1956 wrote:
Video evidence?
But will the police turn up?
Don't even need video evidence. Get a group of 5 -10 adults together. Next time the gang congregates at the playground, ring round and go down together with your mobile phones. Take pictures of the kids, print them off and give the folder to the police with the dates.

Repeat until the kids get the message either form the police or from being disturbed by a group of adults every time they are there.
[quote][p][bold]vicn1956[/bold] wrote: Video evidence? But will the police turn up?[/p][/quote]Don't even need video evidence. Get a group of 5 -10 adults together. Next time the gang congregates at the playground, ring round and go down together with your mobile phones. Take pictures of the kids, print them off and give the folder to the police with the dates. Repeat until the kids get the message either form the police or from being disturbed by a group of adults every time they are there. Excluded again

10:48pm Sun 17 Nov 13

noddy57 says...

covert cameras first of all, catch the culprits and bill em for the damage,,
covert cameras first of all, catch the culprits and bill em for the damage,, noddy57

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