Death warning following Seaton arson attacks

Police say there has been a worrying increase in the number of fires started deliberately around the town

POLICE at Seaton are warning that someone could be killed following a “worrying” increase in arson attacks across the town.

In the latest incident a thatched public shelter in Castle Hill was gutted and the roof destroyed. Firefighters from three towns fought to save the building.

Angry residents this week hung a sign from the sealed off area simply asking the culprits “Why?”

In recent weeks other blazes have been started deliberately at the Underfleet car park, the skate park and a bird hide on Colyford Common.

Police and Community Support Officer (PCSO) Chris Bollsover warned that people’s lives are being put at risk.

He said: “Some of these incidents have been reported to police and others not. We would therefore like to issue a strong warning to people about the dangers of making fires and that anyone who deliberately or maliciously starts a fire could face being arrested and end up with a criminal record.

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“Starting and playing with fires is extremely dangerous and anyone who does so is putting their safety, their lives and the lives of others at risk.

“Even the smallest fire can get out of control and endanger lives and cause serious injury.

“Members of the local neighbourhood team will be actively patrolling the area and anyone found playing with or trying to start fires will be dealt with robustly.”

The latest arson attack at the seafront shelter was amongst 22 reported crimes in Seaton last month.

Police also investigating four thefts, three cases of criminal damage, five assaults and four public order offences.

A spokesman said that while reported crime levels continued to show an increase on last year’s figures, the March figure was well below the average of 30 for the month over the last nine years.

* Police are keen to hear form anyone who can help them catch those responsible for the recent arson attacks.

The damage to the bird hide took place at Colyford Common between 4pm on Monday, March 19, and 9am on Tuesday, March20. It included graffiti on the walls, smashing a display cabinet and setting fire to items inside the hide. The crime reference isKN/12/123.

The Castle Hill shelter fire took place at around 12.25am on Friday, March 30. The crime reference is KN/12/135

People with information should call 101 and quote the relevant crime reference number.

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