Special crime bus drafted into Wisbech to help in the hunt for arsonists who hit four buildings

PUBLISHED: 15:13 12 May 2010 | UPDATED: 09:38 02 June 2010

Fire at Phoenix Hotel, Wisbech
Pictures submitted by Fire Service

Fire at Phoenix Hotel, Wisbech Pictures submitted by Fire Service

A SPECIAL crime bus was drafted into Wisbech today to encourage people to come forward with information on a spate of arson attacks. Police have dubbed the effort to find the arsonists Operation League and have put together a dedicated police team contin

A SPECIAL crime bus was drafted into Wisbech today to encourage people to come forward with information on a spate of arson attacks.

Police have dubbed the effort to find the arsonists Operation League and have put together a dedicated police team continues to gather intelligence.

The main part of the investigation is centred on four large fires in the town which occurred at the following times and locations:

Constantine House in Nene Quay, on March 27 at 6am.

The Phoenix Restaurant, North Brink, on April 29 at 1.06am

The Flowerpot Public House, Churchill Road, on May 7 at 2.23am

A property on North Brink, on May 8 at 9.57pm

"The fires are currently being investigated by the police as arson and officers are keeping an open mind as to whether they are linked," said DI Lorraine Parker, who is leading the investigation.

"What is important is that we find out who is responsible for these fires and it is vital for the effectiveness of our investigation that we keep an open mind.

"We would urge people not to jump to conclusions about who may or may not be responsible until our investigations are complete."

Extra patrols are being carried out by the Wisbech neighbourhood police team and stop and search powers are being used to investigate suspicious behaviour.

The Safer Fenland Partnership Crimebuster bus will be in the town this week, representatives from the police, Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service and Fenland District Council will be on hand to offer information and advice.

Anyone who wants to find out more or has information to share can visit the bus at the following times and locations:

Wednesday, May 12, outside Natwest Bank in North Brink between 12pm and 5pm.

Thursday, May 13, outside Natwest Bank in North Brink between 1pm and 5pm.

Friday, May 14, outside Natwest Bank in North Brink between 9am and 5pm.

Police, Fire Service and Fenland District Council are also working with owners of local business premises to provide advice about how to improve security measures at properties that may be vulnerable.

Several social networking groups have been set up by the community in response to the fires and Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service will be updating users of the sites with the latest information including updates on the police investigation.

The fire service has also got a dedicated area of its website for the Wisbech fires with links to advice - www.cambsfire.gov.uk .

A police spokesman added: "There has been speculation about the cause of the fires on these sites, and who may be responsible, however anyone who may have information is encouraged to share it with the police."

Anyone with information should contact DI Lorraine Parker at Wisbech Police Station on 0345 456 456 4 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Two boys aged 11 and 12 arrested in connection with the fire at the Flowerpot Public House have been bailed to appear at March Police Station on June 11.


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