Police release statement after fire at Chesterfield beauty spot

Police have issued a statement in relation to a fire at a Chesterfield beauty spot at the weekend.

Thursday, 10th June 2021, 3:48 pm

Thugs torched a decking area at the Avenue Washlands in Wingerworth on Saturday.

Video circulating on social media appears to show youngsters allegedly starting a blaze.

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The crime has appalled many people in Chesterfield.

A Derbyshire Constabulary spokesperson told the Derbyshire Times on Thursday: “There have not been any arrests at this time but our enquiries are ongoing.

“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.”

The decking, which overlooks one of the ponds, was completely destroyed in the fire.

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust volunteers have set up an online fundraising appeal which has brought in more than £4,000.

A spokesperson for Wingerworth and Rural Police Safer Neighbourhood Team described the incident as ‘mindless’ vandalism and added: “It appears that the composite decking by the pond has been set on fire, not only endangering the wildlife but ruining the area for the people who walk their dogs and others who want to sit and enjoy the scenery.

“We urge you to report those responsible so that we can engage with them and their family.”

Following the fire, Councillor Ross Shipman, leader of the Liberal Democrats on North East Derbyshire District Council, is calling for local authorities to fund ‘diversionary activities’ for young people.

Coun Shipman added that he was ‘disgusted’ by the crime.

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