Police issue wheelie bin warning amid hunt for Old Catton arsonist

Police Officers. Picture: Ian Burt

Police Officers. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

Police are stepping up efforts to catch a suspected serial arsonist before lives are placed in danger.

There has been a spate of arsons in Old Catton, with half a dozen reported incidents, though officers believe as many as a dozen more may have gone unreported.

One of the arsons, in Norman Drive, saw a wheelie bin fire spread to a fence near a house.

PCSO Kane Casburn, the local officer for Old Catton, said the fire could have been much worse if it had not been spotted quickly.

The incidents, including in The Paddocks, Proctor Road and Redmayne playing fields, off North Walsham Road, are believed to be connected.

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Most of the arsons have been overnight, with skips and bins targeted, and trees set alight. The most recent incident, on Tuesday, involved a park bench off Swansgate.

'Even if it's not with an intent to cause people harm, a thoughtless act could cost someone's life,' warned PCSO Casburn. 'I don't want to scare people, but I want to avoid a situation where a bin is set on fire and it spreads to a property where people are sleeping.'

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Police are encouraging residents to keep wheelie bins out of sight and a suitable distance from their home or potential fire hazards.

Anyone who has seen anything suspicious should contact PCSO Kane Casburn at Sprowston police station on 101.

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