Peckham playground fire 'final straw' after late night parties keep residents up all night

Residents of a south London neighbourhood are afraid to send their children to the local park after its playground was burnt down by a group of late night drinkers. The fire in the Peckham recreation ground was the final straw for neighbours who have been kept awake for over a year by those that regularly gather there.

On Saturday, April 13 the playground equipment at Sumners Road Park was on fire and London Fire Brigade were called to control the blaze. Local father Dariusz Andrzejewski, 46, is one of many who feels more needs to be done by police to keep their neighbourhood safe.

He told MyLondon: "My wife woke me up shouting 'call the fire brigade'. It was a shock. I didn't know what was happening. I checked the window and I saw a big flame from the playground and saw two people run away.

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Sumner Road Park after playground equipment was set alight
The play equipment has been removed after the fire -Credit:Dariusz Andrzejewski

"I'm pretty sure that will be fixed, but that's not the problem. The real problem is people loitering around and having regular parties.

"We've called the police around ten times and they come and tell them to be quiet but ten minutes after they leave music is blasting again." Dariusz said that the disturbance has been occurring for a year and happens on weekdays as well as weekends.

Even before the fire parents were scared to let their children play in the park. Dariusz has three boys and said: "The park is a nightmare. There's always bottles left and even needles.

The playground equipment after the fire
Dariusz says the latest fire at the park is not the problem -Credit:Dariusz Andrzejewski

"We definitely need cameras because there is so much stuff that happens in this park." He also claimed that people regularly gather by his cars shouting in the early hours of the morning.

Dariusz added: "Its a huge problem for a very small park. Its supposed to be a very nice and quiet area.

"My children don't want to go this park anymore because every person you meet looks suspicious. I definitely wouldn't send them to the park alone."

A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police said: "We understand the misery and impact on quality of life that can be caused by antisocial behaviour. We will continue to work with our borough partners to formulate a long-term solutions to the issues that local people have raised while taking enforcement action where crimes are committed.

"As that work progresses, we would urge anyone with information relating to crime in the area to get in touch with their local policing team, dial 101 or post on X @MetCC." Southwark Council were contacted but had not responded at the time of publication.

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