Three cars destroyed in arson attack at PSNI officer's home

The officer, his wife and daughter were in the house at the time of the attack. Credit: PA

Northern Ireland's Justice Minister has condemned an arson attack at the home of a police officer in Co Antrim as "appalling and cowardly".

Three cars were set alight outside the house on the Glenarm Road in Larne before 1.45am on Thursday morning.

The officer, his wife and daughter were in the house at the time of the attack but were not physically harmed as a result.

Naomi Long said she "does not underestimate the distress that is caused by an incident of this nature at a family home".

"Our police officers put their lives on the line on a daily basis to keep us all safe," she said.

She added: "My thoughts are with this officer, their family and colleagues.

"This violence achieves absolutely nothing and needs to stop."

PSNI Detective Chief Inspector Dunny McCubbin described the attack as "completely reckless" and added that it "could have had serious consequences."

He said: “Thankfully, no injuries have been reported in what was a terrifying ordeal for the officer and his family.

"There are no words to describe those who would set fire to vehicles in the dark of night outside a family home when the occupants were asleep inside.

"Their actions stand in stark contrast to the officer who everyday serves our community with dignity, respect and courtesy.

He continued: “At the present time we are keeping an open mind as to the motivation behind this attack however a primary line of enquiry is that criminal elements may be responsible.

"Detectives have now initiated a full investigation, which I can assure the community will be thorough and robust. "

He has appealed for anyone with information or who may have seen anything suspicious in the area in the early hours of Thursday morning to get in touch.