Police release CCTV footage following 'spree' of arson attacks near Bristol

  • Watch CCTV footage released by Avon and Somerset Police

Police are appealing for help in finding those responsible for a series of arson attacks on vehicles in South Gloucestershire.

More than 20 vehicles were targeted at seven locations across Stoke Gifford and Bradley Stoke on Sunday 3 April in what police have described as a "shameful crime spree".

Among the victims were a number of charities, one of which had half of its vehicles which it used to transport vulnerable people destroyed.

Inside one of the charity vehicles which was destroyed by the flames

The timeline of the arson attacks

Avon and Somerset Police believe the offenders set fire to the first vehicle at 1.09am on New Road before heading north where they carried out further attacks on Gatcombe Road at 1.33am and then on Sandringham Road at 1.47am.

Nearly three quarters of an hour later, at 2.30am, they targeted vehicles parked at the Jubilee Centre on Savages Wood Road before doubling back to Little Stoke playing fields where they set more vehicles on fire at 3.09am.

A map of the series of attacks which took place in the Stoke Gifford area Credit: Avon and Somerset Police / Google Maps

The arsonists then headed west to a car park behind the Rolls Royce site on Gipsy Patch Lane where they destroyed 16 minibuses before most likely retracing their steps to set fire to a vehicle on Sherbourne Avenue.

Vehicle owners for all but three of those targeted have been identified – with a Mini and two minibuses too badly damaged to trace their owners.

Detective Inspector Will Thorpe said officers are making quick progress in the investigation.

“Dozens of hours of footage from public and private CCTV and doorbell cameras has been gathered and continues to be reviewed", he said.

“We remain open-minded about the motive for these attacks but from the enquiries we’ve carried out to date, we don’t believe the offenders have specifically targeted particular vehicles.

“The majority of the vehicles destroyed belonged to charities and it is hard to imagine that had the offenders known this, they would have deliberately set them on fire.

More than 20 vehicles were targeted throughout the night

“All the victims have been significantly inconvenienced by this shameful crime spree and we are committed to finding those responsible."

Avon and Somerset Police officers are appealing for local residents in the area to check any camera footage they may have from the early hours of Sunday between 1am and 4.40am.

The force also wants to hear from motorists with dashcam footage who may have driven through the area at the time.

Anyone with information is asked to call 101 and provide the call handler with the reference 5222078490.