Five suspected arson attacks linked after bin fires cause thousands of pounds of damage to businesses in Exmouth

One business has had to close after the fire spread to the building. Credit: Facebook/Bumble and Bee Exmouth

Police in the West Country are asking for the public's help, after linking several suspected arson attacks in Devon - costing one business thousands of pounds in damages.

There have been five fires over the last two weeks, each one targeting bins on commercial premises.

All of the suspected attacks happened between midnight and 5am.

The most recent was discovered at 2.20am, Monday 13 July, at Exmouth Pavilion on the Esplanade. Police believe an accelerant was used.

Bins at Budleigh Salterton Football Club were targeted at around 3am on Saturday 11 July.

On Wednesday 7 July, several thousand pounds worth of damage was caused to the Bumble and Bee Café in the Manor Gardens, Exmouth, after a fire spread to the building.

Police are carrying out door-to-door enquiries in the areas and are urging local businesses to be vigilant.

Police would like to hear from anyone who may have any information which could assist their enquiries, including those with potentially relevant CCTV footage.

Investigating officer, Detective Sergeant Tim Hegarty from Exmouth CID, said the fires are causing financial damage, anguish and inconvenience.

Times are hard enough for businesses who are getting ready for what should be the tourist season – we want to find the person, or people, responsible, before a tragedy happens and lives are threatened in addition to people’s livelihoods.

Detective Sergeant Tim Hegarty, Devon and Cornwall Police

Police have linked the five fires because of their similar nature. Credit: PA

Police are asking anyone who has seen anything suspicious, including people they know picking up a new fascination with fire, to get in touch.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact police on 101 or via email at 101@dc.police.uk quoting log number 99, 13/7/20.