September 27th, 2016

Arrest in connection with Abbeydale fires

Arrest in connection with Abbeydale fires Arrest in connection with Abbeydale fires
Updated: 10:15 am, May 07, 2015

A REDDITCH man has been arrested in connection with the three Abbeydale fires.

The 40-year-old was detained by police on suspicion of arson and has been bailed until December 4 pending further enquiries.

It follows the fire affecting bungalows in Johnson Close in the early hours of August 23, a car fire in a sheltered housing car park on August 17 and a shed fire on August 9, both again in Johnson Close.

A meeting has been arranged for next week which will see police, the fire service, housing teams, probation and community safety officers discussing whether anything can be done to prevent further incidents.

Residents told the Standard they were concerned about the affect of overgrown bushes and trees around the area and the fact some of the street lighting was turned off overnight, making it harder for potential offenders to be seen.

Coun Yvonne Smith, the borough councillor responsible for community safety, said: “I was saddened to hear about the fires in Abbeydale which have affected so many people and left them feeling very vulnerable.

“Teams from the council have been offering support and I want to reassure them that we will continue to do so.

“There is a multi-agency meeting next week which we will attend and of course any actions arising from that which will improve the safety of the area and which we are responsible for we will carry out.”

Coun John Smith, responsible for highways at Worcestershire County Council which is responsible for street lighting, said they were aware of ‘some issues’ relating to the area.

“We are currently in consultation with police regarding the information that the police have compiled about the cases to identify if there is a connection between the street lights that have been switched off and the incidents that have occurred. The situation may then be reviewed accordingly.”

Anyone with any information should call police on 101, quoting reference number 98-S-230814, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.