CHESHIRE Police and Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service have launched an operation after a spate of arson attacks on parks in north east Warrington.

Firefighters have been called out dozens of times to such incidents in recent months, with Peel Hall Park being a particular hotspot.

Play equipment and the pond’s wooden boardwalk have been damaged by fires, with the council incurring repair costs as a result.

And the number of incidents has increased during the coronavirus pandemic.

In response, crews have joined forces with police in order to tackle problem.

Warrington Guardian:

They have launched Operation Firecracker, which has seen an increased police presence in the area – including plain clothes patrols.

PCSO Jordan Burke, who is leading the force’s work in the area, said: “There has been an increase in reports of deliberate fires in Peel Hall Park and the surrounding areas over the past few months.

“We are working in close partnership with Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service and other agencies to look at long-term solutions to prevent the harm these incidents cause to the local community.

“Operation Firecracker was launched earlier this year, and has seen us target areas where we have received repeat reports of deliberate fires.

“We have been conducting high visibility and plain clothes patrols in an attempt to deter and identify offenders, alongside looking at opportunities to engage and educate people about the risks related with setting fires and the avoidable demand they place on both services.

“If you have any information about who is involved in setting deliberate fires in your area, please get in touch with Cheshire Police on 101 or report it via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”