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Police up presence on Thetford estate after string of suspected arson attacks

PUBLISHED: 14:12 26 August 2014 | UPDATED: 15:53 26 August 2014

A white Ford Focus that was believed to have been set on fire in Elm Road.

A white Ford Focus that was believed to have been set on fire in Elm Road.

Archant

Police have pledged to up their presence following a spate of suspected arson attacks that have shocked an estate in Thetford.

Inspector Terry Lordan, Thetford Police.Inspector Terry Lordan, Thetford Police.

Four fires were started on the Fulmerston Road estate, in Kimms Belt and Elm Road, in the early hours of Sunday, with residents forced to evacuate their homes as trees and fencing were set alight.

A further suspected arson took place this morning at around 3am, when a white Ford Focus was torched in Elm Road.

The incidents have prompted Thetford Police to promise increased patrols in the area, with plain-clothed officers and dog units being brought in.

Breckland policing commander, Inspector Paul Wheatley, said officers would be carrying out additional patrols to provide reassurance to local residents.

He said: “Clearly these incidents are causing concern in the community and we will be carrying out high-visibility patrols to offer reassurance.

“These fires could have easily spread further, causing more damage and putting the lives of residents at risk. I would urge anyone who witnesses people acting suspiciously in this area to contact police on 101.”

Inspector Terry Lordan, Thetford’s policing commander, added that officers would be posting around 600 leaflets through doors in the area in an appeal for information.

Sunday’s incidents saw suspects start a fire in the garden of a property on Elm Road which caused substantial damage to a shed and tree. The fire also spread to the garage of a neighbouring property.

Rubbish was also set alight in the alleyway adjacent to the rear garden of an address in Elm Road, causing damage to fence panels. Meanwhile, fence panels were also set alight in the garden of a house in Kimms Belt.

This morning’s incident saw a form of fuel poured on to a Ford Focus as it sat outside the owner’s house, before being ignited.

Officers were on scene this morning taking photographic evidence of the burnt out car.

Terry Jermy, Norfolk County Councillor for Thetford West, said residents were anxious to know how police would respond to the incidents.

“People are naturally very concerned and particularly now there’s been a further incident several days after the first spate.

“They are looking for reassurance that the police will deal with this quickly and robustly,” he said.

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