Pupils in ‘floods of tears’ after vandals torch Cramond play area

Pictures of the damage inflicted on Cramond Primary School's playground boat after vandals set fire to it on Saturday night
Pictures of the damage inflicted on Cramond Primary School's playground boat after vandals set fire to it on Saturday night
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Devastated children have been left in floods of tears after mindless vandals torched a wooden play facility in Cramond.

The vandals targeted a large wooden boat used by kids to climb and explore at an adventure playground in Cramond Primary School on Saturday.

Damaged to the inside of the playground boat at Cramond Primary School after vandals set fire to it on Saturday night

Damaged to the inside of the playground boat at Cramond Primary School after vandals set fire to it on Saturday night

Firefighters doused the flames after a concerned neighbour contacted the emergency services.

Head teacher Helen Donaldson said she was lost for words at the sheer mindless destruction.

“I cannot understand it. I have no words. We created it for everyone to enjoy. To share but not to destroy.

“Our safe space to play, learn and have fun has been ruined.

“I have kids in floods of tears today unable to comprehend why someone would spoil their playground – they can’t understand why someone would ruin it instead of play in it.”

Opened in 2016 the adventure playground was the culmination of over £40k of Parent Council and community fundraising which was match funded to build the challenging facility for pupils and the local community.

Helen added: “We extended it to former pupils, to local families regardless of age or school and for us out of school hours, because we want our children and young people to have somewhere to challenge themselves.

“It is a much loved and much used part of the community and the wooden boat was the flagship element.

“It is now damaged beyond repair – we cared about other people but they haven’t cared about us.”

The community has reacted in outrage.

Liberal Democrat councillor for the communities of the Almond war Cllr Kevin Lang said: “This is a terrible act of vandalism which has understandably shocked parents, pupils and teachers. These play facilities were designed to bring fun and a sense of adventure to the school children. It is astonishing that anyone would want to destroy it in this way.

“I’ll be seeking assurances from council education officials that new facilities can be put in place. Meantime, it is important for anyone who witnessed anything or has any useful information to get in contact with the local police.”

Officers continue to investigate the incident and ask that anyone with information should contact Police Scotland via 101, quoting incident number 1783 of 18 March.

Local Almond Cllr Norman Work added: “I was disappointed to hear about the damage to this play facility and I hope someone with information will come forward as these types of incidents cause great distress to the pupils and staff. However, I am pleased to see the offers of support and help from the community who have been quick to respond to this incident.

A spokesman said: “The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service was alerted at 6.55pm on Saturday, March 17 to reports of a fire within school grounds on Cramond Crescent, Edinburgh.

“Operations Control immediately mobilised one fire engine and firefighters extinguished the flames.

“Crews left the scene after ensuring the area was made safe.”

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