£3,000 reward offered to help catch Melton arsonists

Police have welcomed the offering of a reward of £3,000 to help track down arsonists who have plagued residents in Melton over the last two years.

Thursday, 27th December 2018, 12:22 pm
Updated Thursday, 10th January 2019, 11:04 am
A Peugeot 206 damaged in Drummond Walk during an arson attack on the Fairmead Estate in Melton EMN-181227-121516001

More than 20 incidents have been reported on streets in, or near to, the Fairmead Estate during that time period, resulting in cars being destroyed and property being badly damaged by the fires.

And now Crimestoppers - an independent charity which encouages witnesses to give information anonymously about crimes - has put up the substantial reward to help with the arrest and conviction of the perpetrators.

The charity said the attacks had caused ‘significant emotional and financial impact on the victims’ and highlighted that some of the incidents appeared to be co-ordinated, with arson incidents happening while firefighters were dealing with another one nearby.

Sgt Paul Kear of Melton police EMN-181227-172759001

Lydia Patsalides, the organisation’s East Midlands Manager, said: “It is staggering to think that over 20 arson attacks have been carried out and nobody has been hurt.

“As a charity, we want to support the local police with keeping our communities safe, and that is why we are offering this reward for information.

“At Crimestoppers, our charity believes everyone has the right to feel safe from crime.

“If anyone has any information on this series of arson attacks, but has been unable to come forward so far or feel unable to speak to police, they can always contact our charity.

“Everyone who contacts us stays 100 per cent anonymous - we’ve kept this promise for over 30 years.

“When people call our UK Contact Centre on 0800 555 111 or use our anonymous online form their information could help keep someone safe from harm.

“No-one will know they contacted us, and it could be their information that makes a huge difference.”

Sgt Paul Kear, of Melton police, said: “We believe these fires were deliberate and very dangerous acts which could have resulted in someone being seriously injured.

“We are taking these reports extremely seriously and a number of enquiries have been carried out to identify the person or people responsible including forensically examining scenes, trawling CCTV and liaising with our colleagues at Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service.

“Officers regularly patrol the Fairmead Estate and can often be found at the community centre available to speak to local residents.

“I believe that the answer to this crimes lies in the local community and I hope that the Crimestoppers reward will prompt someone to come forward with the information they have to assist us in the arrest and conviction of those responsible for this series of attacks.”