DEVASTATED kids were in tears to find their local playground ransacked and burned to a crisp by “selfish” thugs.
Local children have been left with nowhere to play after mystery arsonists dessimated the park at Lundwood, near Barnsley, last Tuesday.
The delinquents scorched the whole fenced-off area, wreaking havoc that will cost £20,000 worth of repairs.
Flames destroyed the swing seats and slides, and only a see-saw and the metal skeletons of other equiptment are still standing.
The mindless vandals also torched the bins and left broken glass shattered across the rubbish-strewn ground.
Sadly, the “disgusting” behaviour isn’t the first time vandals have ruined the Lundwood play area, with several incidents of fires and damage in the last two years.
But kids faces still fell as they discovered the bare area of burnt tarmac in place of their beloved playground.
Michelle Butler’s two grandsons, aged three and one, were heartbroken by the scarred scene.
She said: “It’s disgusting what the vandals have done, it is just the young children who miss out.
“There is mess everywhere, broken bottles all over the place, and nothing for the children to play on.
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“It is very selfish of the vandals to just burn the place for what to them must be some kind of fun.”
Mum Jade Cook, 20, added: “It’s just not right. The little yobs are just burning and destroying what the little kids want to play on.
“When things get replaced, it just gets burned again. It’s just not fair.”
Grandma Jayne Rowlands, 50, said: “Its dangerous for my two grandchildren.
“It’s disgusting what these idiot vandals are doing.
“It’s just mindless and I hope the police catch the culprits.”
But other locals are terrified of speaking out in case they suffer another arson attack themselves.
One business owner said: “It is terrible, they are little menaces who need dealing with, but I’m not going to be the one to complain.
“I don’t want a lot rag but through my letterbox.”
Wendy Lowder, Executive Director for Communities at Barnsley Council, said: “It’s very disappointing to hear that the playground at Littleworth Lane was subject to yet more vandalism on Tuesday 3 May.
“Sadly, this is not the first time vandalism has seen the play area needing removals and repairs in the last two years, with numerous incidents of small fires and other damage.
“We don’t tolerate this sort of behaviour in our borough, and we’re joining forces with partners at South Yorkshire Police and South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue to identify the offender.
“In the meantime, we will have to remove the play equipment for safety reasons as the damage is beyond repair, costing £20,000 to replace.”