Safety fears raised after arsonists target Wrexham country park

Reporter:

Rebecca Cole

A COMMUNITY has been left fearing for residents’ safety after arsonists targeted a park building.

Firefighters tackled a blaze at Park Wall Road, Gwersyllt, when double doors close to the cricket club were deliberately set alight in broad daylight at around 8.30am yesterday.

Now, Councillor David Griffiths is concerned the “brazen” attack could be the start of a stepping up of anti-social behaviour in the Alyn Waters Country Park area.

He said: “We have been suffering from arson attacks in this area in the last few weeks and I’m really worried that this increase, along with today’s incident, is the beginning of a stepping up in anti-social behaviour.

“It’s making me wonder if it’s directly linked to the fact we lost a PCSO in the area as a result of the police reshuffle last month.

“The attack was such a brazen one, in broad daylight and during rush hour when there would be kids walking to school and countless dog walkers in the area, that it seems the culprits do not fear, or doubt there will be, any consequences.

“I’ve got absolutely no complaints about the work the police force is carrying out, they’re fantastic in fact, but I believe these arsonists have acted in the knowledge that patrols are down.”

But North Wales Police claim the area never had a designated PCSO and despite the reshuffle there are still 50 response officers and a team of beat managers who are “deployed appropriately” to target areas.

According to North Wales Fire and Rescue the arsonists used matches and paper to set fire to the doors, which are at the rear of the council-owned changing room facilities for the old bowling green.

Anyone with information is asked to contact North Wales Police on 101.

A spokesman for Wrexham Council said: “Police and fire officers were called and the doors were damaged but the building is thought to be structurally sound.”

One dog walker who lives in Gwersyllt and regularly uses the park but did not wish to be named, said: “Alyn Waters is a beautiful park and it’s a pleasure to go there.

“But it is being plagued by a few youngsters who seem to want to ruin it for everyone else.

“I’ve seen them drunk there, urinating in the open, smashing fences and it really is an ongoing problem now.”

Cllr Griffiths added: “This problem has come up a number of times at Gwersyllt Community Council meetings and I know it’s a great concern to myself and residents. We’re all worried someone’s going to get hurt – it’s got to stop.”

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