1. ITV Report

CCTV appeal: Hants Police now linking 13 arsons

Police want to trace this person seen on CCTV near a fire in Southampton Photo: Hampshire Constabulary

Detectives are appealing for more information after linking a number of arson attacks on cars, caravans and motorhomes in the Bitterne, Peartree and Woolston areas of Southampton.

Thirteen arsons have taken place between 3rd August and 24th August, mainly between the hours of midnight and 5am. Hampshire Police say that most of the fires caused a significant loss of property - the latest one endangered people's lives.

People are being advised not to sleep in their caravans or motorhomes while the vehicles are parked at their homes or on their driveways.

The most recent fire spread to the vehicle owner's home

Officers are encouraging residents in the areas concerned to report anyone acting suspiciously to the police by calling 999.

They are trying to trace people seen in the vicinity of the attacks who may have vital information about what happened.

The owner had only had the vehicle for four days
Officers would like to speak to this youth / man - shown on cctv, cycling near one of the fires Credit: Hampshire Constabulary

“We have seen several vehicles, caravans and motorhomes been completely burnt out as a result of these fires. More recently, the fire has spread to a house and endangered people’s lives.

“We would urge anyone who owns a caravan or a motorhome not sleep to in it whilst parked outside your house or on your driveway. Make sure it is secure and locked and remove any gas canisters and any other potentially flammable household items and materials.

“We have images of a person we would like to trace captured from the cameras on the fire engines that have been called to the scene. This person has been in the area at the times the fires have been reported and watched the emergency services.

“Do you recognise their clothing?

“We would like to speak to anybody who recognises the person in these images. We know they are grainy pictures, but someone might know this person. If you do, please get in contact.”

– Detective Inspector Adam Edwards, Western Investigation Team, Hampshire Constabulary

Hampshire Police are asking anyone who has information to telephone them on 101 and quote 44180318483. Alternatively, you can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 and leave information anonymously.

Officers are continuing to carry out patrols in the area. Anyone with concerns is being asked to approach the patrols to talk about about the incidents.

Anyone with information is asked to call the police on 101 and quote 44180318483

A list of the thirteen arson attacks is below:

  • On August 3, a caravan parked on Medwall Green was set alight between 4am and 4.20am.
  • On August 5, an empty house on Marston Road was targeted between 3am and 3.30am.
  • On August 6, some rubbish outside of a house on Burke Drive was set on fire just before 5am.
  • On August 8, a car was set alight on Margam Avenue at about 3.20am.
  • Between August 11 and August 14 a motorhome was set on fire on Linacre Road.
  • On August 14, the Picador Renualt dealership on Portsmouth Road was targeted just after midnight. Five cars were set on fire.
  • On August 21, several vehicles were targeted.
  • A motorhome was set on fire on Ludlow Road between 1.30am and 2.30am.
  • A car was set alight on Ruby Road between 2.35am and 2.50am.
  • A caravan on Ruby Road was targeted between 2.40am and 3am. Another car also caught alight.
  • Also on August 21, a St John’s Ambulance parked on Dean Road was tampered with and appeared that someone had tried to set fire to the driver’s side door.
  • On August 23, two vehicles at the Mazda garage on Bursledon Road caught fire. The incident happened just before 11pm.
  • On August 24, a caravan on Brownlow Avenue was set alight between 2.30am and 2.45am. The fire caused extensive damage to the caravan, car and house.