Police interview teenagers after blaze at Chesterfield beauty spot

Three teenagers have been voluntarily interviewed after a fire at a Chesterfield beauty spot.

Wednesday, 16th June 2021, 10:40 am

A decking area was torched at the Avenue Washlands in Wingerworth on June 5.

Video which circulated on social media appeared to show youngsters allegedly starting a blaze.

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Police at the Avenue Washlands after the fire. Picture by Nick Rhodes.

A Derbyshire Constabulary spokesperson told the Derbyshire Times this week: “Three teenagers have been voluntarily interviewed in relation to the incident and enquiries are ongoing.

“No arrests or charges have been made at this time.”

The spokesperson had said last week: “We are aware of a video that was circulating on social media in connection with the incident.

“Officers are working to identify and contact a number of individuals who may be able to help with our enquiries.”

Kate Lemon, regional manager for Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, said 40m of boardwalk, fishing platforms and fencing were destroyed in the fire.

She added: “The damage caused is considerable and is estimated to cost around £15,000 to repair.”

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust volunteers have set up an online fundraising appeal to help pay for the repairs.

It started with a goal of £1,000 and has so far brought in nearly £5,000.

After the blaze, a spokesperson for Wingerworth and Rural Police Safer Neighbourhood Team described the incident as ‘mindless’ vandalism.

Many people also contacted the Derbyshire Times to tell of their anger and sadness at the crime.

Meanwhile, Councillor Ross Shipman, leader of the Liberal Democrats on North East Derbyshire District Council, called for local authorities to fund ‘diversionary activities’ for young people, adding that he was ‘disgusted’ by the blaze.

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