Allotments targeted in suspected arson attack

Allotment owners have been left in fear after an alleged arson attack, it has been claimed.

Thursday, 6th July 2017, 11:34 am
Updated Tuesday, 18th July 2017, 8:40 am
Fire damage to allotment sheds at Kirkham

Police are investigating after buildings and equipment were destroyed and items apparently stolen at the site in School Lane, Kirkham.

Officials and members of Kirkham Town Council, which runs the allotments, have spoken of their disgust at the extent of the damage, which happened in the early hours of last Friday.

While one shed was burned to the ground with all its contents destroyed, others were broken into with items such as axes, petrol and gas canisters stolen.

Coun Liz Oades said it was the second shed fire at the site inside a week.

“This looks like a pre-planned arson attack and whoever is doing this has to be stopped before they turn their attentions to public buildings or homes,” she said.

“The upset it is causing to the allotment holders is second only to them having their homes attacked and there is a widespread feeling of dread and insecurity when approaching their plots or working there in the evenings.

“Securing the whole site with security fencing isn’t feasible, while policing the site through the nights is unimaginable.

“We need security cameras along the walk and on the car park which can be relayed from the scout hut to our system at the community centre.

“We have also received reports from our parks team of fires started in the open spaces across the town, particularly the children’s train at Barnfield.

“The parks team clear fire, drink and drugs debris out of the train on a daily basis.

“Something urgently needs to be done to track down the people responsible.

“After the news last week that we could be losing our police station front counter in Kirkham, this shows how vital it is that we have police available locally and I would urge anyone with information to contact them.”

Fire engines from Wesham and Penwortham were called to the shed blaze at shortly after 2.30am last Friday.

They used a hose reel to extinguish the blaze which they confirmed was believed to have been started deliberately.

A police spokesman said the damage is believed to have occurred sometime after 10pm.