AROUND £20,000 worth of damage has been caused after a suspected arson attack in Ponteland Park.

It is believed offenders started the blaze on part of the jetty and walkway in the park, completely destroying it, before making off from the scene.

An investigation has been launched by police.

The damage to the wooden structure near the lake, which is believed to have been committed 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, police said.

They added replacing the jetty and walkway is expected to come at significant financial cost.

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.

“The mindless actions of a few have resulted in significant damage – and their selfish behaviour now means that a section of the park cannot be enjoyed by families during the summer holidays.

“We are committed to identifying those responsible and they can expect a knock at their door very soon. Enquiries are ongoing with the fire service and we are committed to bringing effective justice against those responsible.

“I would like to thank the wider public for their support and cooperation at this time, and we will use every tactic available to us in order to find those responsible for the fire.”

Hexham Courant:

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 police via the ‘Tell Us Something’ page of Northumbria Police's website or by calling 101 quoting crime number 090048L/22.