Residents fight back against arson attacks

A SPATE of arson attacks targeting cars and garages has prompted a group of residents to set up their own neighbourhood watch scheme. The residents of Witham Close in St Ives told The Hunts Post they had been subjected to months of arson attacks . On

A SPATE of arson attacks targeting cars and garages has prompted a group of residents to set up their own neighbourhood watch scheme.

The residents of Witham Close in St Ives told The Hunts Post they had been subjected to "months of arson attacks".

One woman, who had her car torched in February, said: "enough is enough".

The woman, who wanted to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals, claimed the attacks had been taking place at the back of Witham Close since Christmas last year.

She said that locks had been damaged on garages and vehicle, and fires and criminal damage were an "ongoing occurrence" with up to 10 incidents since the start of the year.

The latest arson took place at 3.45am on Sunday (March 30) when arsonists set fire to a Ford Fiesta - the flames also spread to a nearby garage.

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Firefighters were called to tackle the blaze and had it undercontrol by 5am, but the car, which belonged to a relative of a Witham Close resident, was destroyed.

The woman added: "The incidents have been reported to police and still these arsonists continue to destroy our property.

"I had to contact the press because I want people in the area to know that these criminals are operating in the area and undermining our standard of living. They need to be stopped."

The woman, who has lived in St Ives for 10 years, said as a direct result of the fires she will not replace her car: "I just can't take the risk of it being set on fire again - it's just not worth the heartache."

She is also encouraging residents to set up a Neighbourhood Watch scheme.

"The incidents only started happening a few months ago but nobody has seen anything. It's getting beyond a joke - I've lost my car and one of my neighbours has lost two of his motorbikes in one of the fires.

"Why are these people setting fire to our property? It just doesn't make any sense, they're not even stealing anything they are just burning cars.

"You work hard all your life to buy the things you want and then it is destroyed by mindless vandals."

HOLD 40-WORD SPACE FOR POLICE COMMENT.

Chris Strickland, assistant chief fire officer, said: "Anyone who starts a fire deliberately must face up to the fact that they are both legally and emotionally responsible for what happens during that fire, regardless of whether or not it was their intention."

INFORMATION: Anyone with information about the incidents should contact police on 0845 4564564 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.

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