Teenage girl arrested in connection with series of Letchworth arson attacks
PUBLISHED: 12:32 30 January 2018 | UPDATED: 12:32 30 January 2018
A 14-year-old girl from Letchworth has been charged in connection with three arson attacks which happened in recent weeks around the town.
Police officers from Letchworth and Baldock Safer Neighbourhood Team were carrying out targeted patrols around Cowslip Hill on Sunday in connection with the arsons when they spotted a girl who they believed to be acting suspiciously and arrested her.
The girl was taken to Stevenage police station where she was charged in connection with three incidents. These include setting a bin alight in a multi-storey car park in Rowland Road on January 2,
setting a bin on fire in Southfields behind the Nisa store on January 7 and setting a shed alight at allotments on January 28.
The girl was remanded in custody and appeared at Hatfield Remand Court yesterday.
She was released on bail with conditions, including a curfew, pending further investigations and is next due to appear at the youth court on February 1.
Twelve other cases of arson have also happened around Letchworth during January. They took place in Leys Avenue, Hawthorn Hill, Runnalow and at the allotments on Bedford Road.
Letchworth and Baldock Safer Neighbourood Team leader Sgt Alan Clarke said: “We have been working closely with Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue in relation to this series of arsons to get to the bottom of who is responsible. Arson is an extremely serious offence which has the potential to put people’s lives in serious danger and I would urge anyone with information about these offences to come forward as soon as possible.”
Anyone with information about the arsons should contact the Letchworth and Baldock Safer Neighbourhood Team on the non-emergency number 101, quoting crime reference number G2/18/15. You can also report information online at herts.police.uk/Report.
Alternatively, you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through their anonymous online form at crimestoppers-uk.org.
Sgt Clarke also gives the following advice on how to help protect sheds and outbuildings from arson:
· Do not stack flammable waste against or near your building, such as wood, cardboard, plastics, oils or bottles of gas
· Always store items in a large skip with metal covers or in euro bins
· Gas bottles should be stored in locked metal cages, if possible, away from the building
· Oils and fuel, whether unused or not, should be stored in fire proof containers and made secure
· Avoid storing ignition and fuel sources together
· Consider security lighting and CCTV
· Lock gates and secure all vehicles when not in use
Further information about protecting property from arson can be found at herts.police.uk/A-Z/Arson.