An investigation has been launched by Northumbria Police as it is believed that offenders started a fire on part of the jetty and walkway, completely destroying it, before making off from the scene.
The damage to the wooden structure near the lake – which is believed to have been happened between 12.30pm and 1.20pm on Monday, August 1 – is so severe that a section of the park has had to be cordoned off from the public.
An investigation has been launched to identify those responsible, in partnership with Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service, and officers have warned that anybody found to have been involved can expect to be dealt with appropriately.
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Inspector Garry Neill, of Northumbria Police, said: “It is always incredibly disappointing to see damage of this kind, which has understandably caused distress and anguish within the local community.
“We are committed to identifying those responsible and they can expect a knock at their door very soon. Inquiries are on-going with the fire service and we are committed to bringing effective justice against those responsible.”
Graeme Wright, team leader for the community safety department at Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service, added: “Outdoor fires account for over 29 per cent of incidents that we attend, with 75 per cent of these being started deliberately.
“Whilst the risk of injury from outdoor fires remains low, the financial and environmental impacts associated with these types of incidents remain extremely high, as is evident by the damage caused at Ponteland Park.
“We are supporting Northumbria Police in their investigation and recommend any member of the public who has information to come forward and assist us.”
Police are asking shop owners in the area who believe they sold accelerant before the fire to come forward, while the public who were in the Ponteland Park area are asked to check any dashcam footage or CCTV.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Northumbria Police via the ‘Tell Us Something’ page of its website or by calling 101 – quoting crime number 090048L/22.