Decorations trashed just hours after Pontefract liquorice festival ends

Firefighters were called to the scene to reports that a planter was on fire
Firefighters were called to the scene to reports that a planter was on fire

Vandals trashed decorations especially created for Pontefract’s Liquorice festival before setting fire to floral displays.

Just hours after the festival finished, firefighters were called to the Valley Gardens to reports that a planter was on fire. A bench had also been damaged.

Decorations before the incident

Decorations before the incident

The vandals also destroyed displays in the centre and decorations were stolen and damaged on Southgate.

21 photos from all the sweet fun of Pontefract Liquorice Festival 2019

Colin White, chairman of Pontefract in Bloom, who organises the floral displays and planters in town, said: “I’d gone to the Valley Gardens with my Grandchildren and I couldn’t believe it.

"They’d damaged a bench and annihilated a planter.

Vandals trashed decorations especially created for Pontefracts Liquorice festival

Vandals trashed decorations especially created for Pontefracts Liquorice festival

“It’s compulsive arson. The Valley Gardens seems to be the target.

“They are trivial, stupid acts but this could lead to someone losing their life.”

Up to 25,000 people attended the festival this year

Phil Cook, Vice Chair of the Pontefract Civic Society said: “The people of Pontefract came together to make the decorations for the town.

Vandals trashed decorations especially created for Pontefracts Liquorice festival

Vandals trashed decorations especially created for Pontefracts Liquorice festival

“The businesses and organisations make Pontefract a better place to live. The vandals won’t put us off.”

Paul Cartwright, chair of the Civic Society said : “Things like this do unfortunately happen. On the evenings in particular.

"It disrupts all the volunteers hard work. I really hope the culprits can be caught.”

The incidents have been reported to the police.