Shock over suspected arson attack in Landseer Park twice in one day

The fire in Landseer Park

The fire in Landseer Park - Credit: Archant

Community figures in Ipswich have been left aghast after two fires were started deliberately in just a handful of hours yesterday afternoon.

Flames were reported on a patch of banked grass at 1.48pm, which firefighters from East Ipswich extinguished in a matter of minutes.

But the arsonists struck again just after 6.30pm, causing firefighters to return and douse the flames.

A number of locals living nearby are understood to have reported a group of youngsters having been seen on bicycles around the area at the time.

A fire service spokesman confirmed that the incidents were being treated as deliberate.

Andi Hopgood, Ipswich borough councillor for the Gainsborough ward, said: “It’s such a shame there are people trying to cause trouble – the park group are working really hard with all the new play equipment, and the park is so well used.

“In the last policing update we had they were trying to focus on that area but it’s difficult because police cannot be everywhere at once.

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“I hope the police can get on top of it and that it doesn’t put people off the park.”

Suffolk police confirmed that they had been made aware of two incidents, and had informed the safer neighbourhood team in the area.

Tara Jones, chairwoman of the Friends of Landseer Park, said: “There isn’t enough for the youth in the area to do , and things like the people’s forum helps, but there isn’t enough of a police presence.”

The fires follows an attack by vandals on both Landseer and Holywells parks in May, where damage to tables and lighting cost thousands of pounds to repair.

In November last year, picnic benches were struck with graffiti less than two days after being put in.

The park has been going through a significant revamp project, with a new play area and football pitches being unveiled in May as part of the first phase.

Fundraising has already begun for the second phase which will include a multi-use games area, and the possibility of a community centre in the future.

Anyone who witnessed the fires being started or has any information should contact police on 101.

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