An arson attack which destroyed park equipment has led a mother-of-three to say her children would be better off without a play area.
Erin Loft, 29, of Rathlin Road, Broadfield, watched from her dining room window as flames engulfed play equipment in the park behind her home just after 8pm on Wednesday night (October 23).
She said this was the worst incident yet after suffering through years of anti-social behaviour in the field which leads right up to her window.
She said: “They managed to set the roof and the plastic part on fire.
“I’ve seen them use smoke bombs before to try and set it alight but we’ve called the fire brigade quick enough for them to put it out.
“The fact it’s that close is worrying.”
Crawley Borough Council said the fire caused £8,000 worth of damage and replacement was ‘likely to take a number of months’.
The hut was been completely destroyed and the whole of the area for younger children has been fenced off.
Erin has three children aged one, two and six. They could only use the equipment which was torched as they are too small to use the rest.
She said the park bench and the bins at her block of flats had been set alight in the past.
She said: “There’s always cans and bottles there and I always hear people out there.
“Obviously people are bored and it’s an easy target because there’s no one around and it’s not lit up out there.
“It’s pitch black so CCTV wouldn’t be any use. I would like them to just take it down it’s that dangerous.”
Despite being able to watch the park from her flat Erin said there was ‘no way’ she would let her children go there on their own because of groups of people that gathered there.
A spokesperson for Crawley Borough Council said: “Although these incidents are unfortunate, they are not particularly common.
“The installation of CCTV or floodlights is expensive and does not guarantee preventing such incidents occurring in the future.
“Of greater value will be ensuring that replacement equipment specifies flame- resistant materials to limit the potential for fire damage in the future.”