West Mercia: Witness Appeal On Redditch Arsons
September 25, 2012, 12:10 pm
Police are appealing for information about three arsons in Redditch.
They happened on Sunday evening, 23rd September.
Two fires were started outside houses in Dolben Lane, just before 7.30pm and an hour later there was a third in nearby Fownhope Close.
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All of the fires were in bins, and both of those in Dolben Lane damaged gas equipment.
While they all had the potential to be serious, one of those in Dolben Lane, which was started in a cupboard next to the front door and involved bags of rubbish being set alight, damaged the gas mains, gas pipe and gas metre, and placed the occupants in particular danger.
There were a number of youths and young adults in the area of Fownhope Close when the third fire was reported just before 8.30pm, including a woman aged about 20, and a boy of about 12, who is described as being short, and wearing a light beige hoodie, and made off in the direction of Dolben Lane.
Winyates Local Policing Officer PC Paul Kennedy said they were the latest in a series of similar arsons in the Winyates area, and officers are working closely with Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service’s Arson Reduction Manager and with Redditch Borough Council.
PC Kennedy said: “Starting fires is both dangerous and irresponsible.
“Both of these incidents had the potential to be much more serious, especially the Dolben Close incident, which resulted in gas engineers having to be called out. Even small fires can very quickly get out of control and while firefighters are dealing with these blazes, they are not available to deal with other incidents.
“Those responsible need to remember arson is treated extremely seriously, and carries a sentence of up to life imprisonment.”
Patrols by uniformed and non-uniformed staff have been increased to reassure residents and arrest those responsible.
Police are reminding residents that bins need to be kept secure and in designated areas away from properties where possible, and to ensure that any other rubbish or unwanted items are properly disposed of.
Anyone with information can call PC Kennedy or PC Samantha Connop at West Mercia Police on the non-emergency number 101 quoting incident 566-s-230912 or ring the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
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