"A LOT of people are really scared - it's like the wild west down there."

Those are the words of Labour Hull Road ward councillor, Michael Pavlovic, who has hit out after vandals have been starting fires in and around a much-loved York park.

As The Press has previously reported, there have been a number of fires in Alcuin Avenue in Tang Hall - in particular at Hull Road Park and St Nick's nature reserve.

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York Press: St Nick's nature reserveSt Nick's nature reserve

"People are really scared - that's what I have been hearing, not to mention it being incredibly demoralising for the staff and volunteers who are working in the park and have had their hard work trashed," said Cllr Pavlovic.

"It's been like the wild west down there. It's a group of young kids and I have got several names that I have now shared with the police. 

"It's the same kids doing all the damage and they are completely out of control. They have been putting fireworks in bins and setting them alight."

York Press: Hull Road Park in York where many of the fires have been startedHull Road Park in York where many of the fires have been started

Cllr Pavlovic said that damaged caused in the park is costing the tax payer thousands of pounds - the roof has been ripped off the pavilion, as well as trellis, planters and the vegetable plot all being ransacked.

"They have run out of bins to burn in the park and have moved on to people's wheelie bins now," said Cllr Pavlovic.

"It's carnage, but the police are actively increasing patrols and they will act robustly when they find evidence of who is involved.

"The council will do all that it can to restore things, including holding a public meeting where people will be able to raise their concerns.

"The residents of Tang Hall are rightly devastated and the vast majority of residents just want to live their lives, but this gang of young children and they are children - aged between 11 and 16 - are ruining things and frightening people, but we are determined it will stop.

"If anybody is aware of the children who are doing this then please call Crimestoppers anonymously."

York Press: Hull Road ward councillor, Michael PavlovicHull Road ward councillor, Michael Pavlovic

It comes as North Yorkshire Police said just days ago that they are increasing patrols in Tang Hall after a spate of arson attacks.

As The Press reported yesterday, North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said they were called shortly before 8pm on Tuesday night (March 19) after reports of another fire in Alcuin Avenue in Tang Hall - the latest in a long line of recent incidents.

A service spokesman said: “We left the incident in the hands of North Yorkshire Police. The cause of the fire was deliberate.”

North Yorkshire Police has said that there will be more officers on patrol in Tang Hall.

A police spokesman said: "Arson is a serious offence with potentially life-threatening consequences. We urge anyone with information about these incidents to come forward and assist us in our investigation.

"Our officers are increasing patrols in affected areas to deter further anti-social behaviour and provide reassurance to residents. If you witness any suspicious behaviour, please report it to us immediately.

"We're also working closely with local partners and youth services to engage with young people positively, offering support and guidance to prevent future incidents.

"In an emergency or if a crime is in progress, always dial 999. For non-emergencies, you can reach us on 101."