Police hunt after 14 ‘suspicious’ vehicle fires in Weston overnight

Police are investigating after 14 ‘suspicious’ vehicle fires in Weston-super-Mare overnight.

Fire crews were called to several vehicle fires at the seaside town where the cause has been determined to have been “deliberate ignition”. Avon and Somerset Police has now said they are aware of around 14 vehicles that were damaged by fire overnight, but that there have been no reports of injuries.

The force said officers have carried out extensive searches of the area and the drone has been deployed to aid in the search for the person, or people, responsible. The full statement from the force said: “We’re investigating a series of suspicious vehicle fires in the Weston-super-Mare area.

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“Officers were called by a member of the public at just after 4am today (Wednesday 18 May) to attend the Wooler Road area following a report of vehicles on fire. At this time we’re aware of around 14 vehicles damaged by fire with incidents also reported in Gerard Road, Arundell Road, Upper Church Road, Cecil Road and Kewstoke Road.

“Officers have carried out extensive searches of the area and the drone has been deployed to aid in the search for the person, or people, responsible. At this stage we don’t believe the fires are targeted, and appear to have been carried out indiscriminately.

“Thankfully there have been no reports of injuries. Officers will be reviewing CCTV, carrying out house-to-house enquiries and conducting a thorough investigation alongside Avon Fire & Rescue Service.

“If you saw anyone acting suspiciously in the affected areas, or have any other information which would help with our investigation, please call us on 101 and give the call handler the reference number 5222117183.”

Avon Fire and Rescue Service also issued a statement about these incidents. It described what has happened as “disappointing”.

It said: “Between 03:59am and 05:50am on Wednesday 18 May, firefighters from Weston-super-Mare attended eight vehicle fires and one rubbish fire across the town. All fires attended are thought to have been ignited deliberately.

“It is so disappointing to see so many fires started deliberately in our communities, fire presents a significant risk, not only to those starting the fires and those local residents in the community but to our crews that are sent in to tackle them.

“Not only is starting a fire deliberately a crime that can carry a significant sentence, but our crews would potentially be unable to get to another emergency. The Service’s resources need to be available to respond to any fires in the home and support with humanitarian aid for vulnerable people in our communities.

“We are pleading with local people to support us end arson in our communities. If you see a fire, please call us immediately by dialling 999 and asking for the fire service.

“If you are concerned about arson in your area and would like to make a report, you can report incidents to the police by calling 101 or anonymously via Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555 111. For anyone thinking about starting a deliberate fire, we warn them against it. We work with the police on a regular basis and we will help bring you to justice.”

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