'Someone could have be killed' warns furious Harborough council leader after arson attack in Kibworth park
“The people who did this are morons" he said
Furious Harborough council leader Phil King is warning today that someone faces being seriously injured or even killed after a picnic table and bench were torched in a village park.
Cllr King is issuing his powerful warning as police hunt the “moronic” vandals who carried out the late-night arson attack in a children’s playground at Warwick Park in Kibworth Beauchamp.
As we reported over the weekend, the gang are believed to have set the large table and bench alight in the popular park late on Friday night after local firefighters dashed to tackle the blaze just after midnight.
Fuming Cllr King, who lives nearby in Kibworth, told the Harborough Mail today: “I am furious about this – and very worried.
“The people who did this are morons.
“The bench and the table that have been destroyed were not made of wood,” said Cllr King, who’s also a county councillor.
“They were made of tough, apparently ‘flame retardant’ material.
“So it will have taken incredible heat, very high temperatures, to burn them to the ground.
“The idiots who did this might have used exploding aerosol canisters to start the fire, I’m not sure.
“But I do know this for sure.
“This was an incredibly dangerous thing to do, potentially deadly.
“Who ever did it risked being maimed or even killed.
“And, of course, they could also have horrifically injured or killed the people with them,” insisted the outraged Conservative district council chief.
“Nobody in our community – not even the fools who did this – wants that.
“No one wants to get that dreaded knock on the door from the police late one night to tell them that their son or daughter’s been killed.
“But that’s what could happen if we don’t stop lethal arson attacks such as this one now.
“The idiotic vandals who did this are literally playing with fire.
“This is mindless and moronic behaviour – and it’s totally intolerable,” warned Cllr King.
“The whole of our community in Kibworth now has to come together to make sure that we don’t have a repeat.
“Parents and carers have urgently got to get their heads round this.
“It’s bad enough to suffer the financial hit and have one of our picnic tables and benches burned to the ground.
“But next time the people who think this is funny and a brilliant idea may not be so lucky.
“So we also need our community to unite and tell the police who’s behind this.
“I’ve had the name of one suspect passed on to me – and I’ve handed that name straight on to the police investigating this attack,” said Cllr King.
“Scores of people in our village know who’s responsible.
“So come forward now and tell the police who they are.
“The culprits are posing an immense risk to life and limb.
“Villagers here in Kibworth have to wake up and get real now – and make sure that this sort of outrageous fire attack never happens again.”
Cllr Kevin Feltham, who sits on both Kibworth Beauchamp and Kibworth Harcourt parish councils, told the Mail today: “Phil King’s dead right – the people who did this are out and out morons.
“As well as torching the table and bench they also left a lot of glass and dangerous debris such as screws and nails lying around.
“We had to close the play area off to clean up the massive mess and make sure that the playground was safe.
“So the children and families who love to go there and play lose out as well,” said Cllr Feltham, who’s also a county councillor.
“A woman who lives near Warwick Park told me that she saw about 50 rowdy kids going in to the park on Friday night.
“They were carting dozens of cans of lager with them and causing horrendous noise – blasting out ear-splitting music and shouting and screaming.
“She also heard a series of loud explosions – such as aerosol cans exploding.
“She called the police and we understand that a local Police Community Support Officer did go along and talk to these youths,” said the veteran councillor.
“We’ve had anti-social behaviour and loutishness every weekend in Kibworth from local yobs for far too long now.
“This criminal arson attack takes the trouble to a whole new level.
“The police have got to get a grip - and so do the parents.
“The youths who did this must have got home stinking of smoke and fumes and maybe petrol – as well as smelling of booze.
“The parents are ultimately responsible for their kids.
“So it’s time that they do their bit as well and bring their teenage children under control for the good of our entire community.”
Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service said firefighters based at Kibworth Beauchamp raced to the scene at 00.17am on Saturday morning.
They said the blaze is believed to have been sparked by “youths in the area” and that a “large amount of glass” and other debris was strewn around.
Firefighters were at the scene for an hour damping down and clearing up before leaving at 01.17am.
A Leicestershire Police spokesman said officers have launched an investigation into the arson attack as they urged anyone with any information to come forward.
“On Saturday 9 October a report was received that a picnic bench had been set alight at Kibworth Recreation Ground.
“The incident is believed to have happened sometime between Friday night and Saturday morning,” said a force spokesman.
“Local officers are aware and are carrying our further enquiries.
“Anyone who believes they have information about the incident but has not yet spoken to police is asked to get in touch quoting reference 21*586914.”