Detectives are warning home owners to be on their guard after four arson attacks on properties in south-east Essex in the last month. The attacks in Leigh and Benfleet have all been on empty houses. In two cases items were stolen before the fires were set.
August 17 - Manor Road, Benfleet. TV stolen - house set on fire
August 21 - Eaton Road, Leigh. House burnt out.
August 12-24 - London Road, Benfleet. Items stolen, hallway set on fire.
September 21 - Darlinghurst Grove, Leigh. House set on fire at 5am.
At this stage there isn’t anything to suggest the incidents are connected but these fires are concerning us. They are taking place when the owners of the properties are away from their homes and any evidence is being destroyed by the fires. The fire today has caused extensive damage. If anyone has any information please do get in touch. We want to stop this from happening as it is having a devastating effect on people’s homes.”
– Det Sgt Ian Howitt, Southend CID
Anybody with any information is asked to call Southend CID on Essex Police 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
A 16 year old girl from Benfleet in Essex is fighting for her life in hospital after she was in collision with a cyclist on Southend seafront. It happened on Marine Parade on Friday night. The girl has serious head injuries. The cyclist, a man in his 20s from Leigh, was uninjured
A man from south Essex has been cautioned by police for harassing a serving police officer through newspaper blogging.
The 54-year-old Benfleet man was arrested on Saturday, April 14 following an internal police investigation and then a subsequent criminal investigation by Essex Police.
The investigations were launched after more than 250 blogs were registered on the Southend Echo’s website during the course of five years. These blogs were from a person calling themselves Nick Burton – a serving Essex police officer.
The police investigations revealed that the blogs were actually from the Benfleet man who himself had been a former officer with Essex Police.
The Benfleet man admitted causing harassment and was issued with a police caution.