Increased police patrols after suspected arson incidents in Honiton

PUBLISHED: 10:15 27 June 2017 | UPDATED: 10:23 27 June 2017

Archant

Honiton Rugby Club suffered fire damage in the incidents, which saw a sign and its extension roofing targeted within a few weeks of each other.

Honiton’s policing team has ramped up patrols after the town’s rugby clubhouse was hit by two suspected arson attacks - in the same month.

Honiton Rugby Club suffered fire damage in the incidents, which saw a sign and its extension roofing targeted within a few weeks of each other.

Officials at the club estimate the cost of the damage at £600 - a damaging figure as they look to build the clubhouse’s extension on a ‘shoestring’ budget.

The incidents have also prompted police to crack down on antisocial behaviour in Honiton.

PC Vicky Dixon, who heads up Honiton’s neighbourhood beat team, told the Herald that three young people have already signed Acceptable Behaviour Contracts.

The contract is an early intervention made against individuals who are perceived to be engaging in antisocial behaviour.

PC Dixon said patrols were increased in response to the club’s sign being set alight and investigations are ongoing into last week’s incident.

She added: “As for wider issues surrounding antisocial behaviour in the area, it is vital that these are reported to the police as this intelligence is vital in us being able to address these issues, locally.

“A good example of this is we received reports of youths causing problems in the area recently, and thanks to reports from the public, we have been able to identify those responsible and take direct action against them.”

She added: “A major and consistent challenge we face is the non-reporting of incidents whilst they are occurring, meaning identifying those responsible can be incredibly difficult.

“We ask that the local community continue to work with us and to report crime, as this will enable us to tackle the problem at its source and will help keep Honiton a safe and pleasant area to live and visit.”

Honiton Rugby Club started work on its extension in 2013, and according to its president, David Todd, the build is making ‘slow but good’ progress.

Mr Todd added: “The project is still ongoing and could well take another couple of years before completion.

“Once it is finished, the club should be a better place for all the people who use its facilities.”

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