Safety concerns after series of arsons in city

Burnt out cars etc at field next to the  Oxney Road travellers site EMN-160411-160537009
Burnt out cars etc at field next to the Oxney Road travellers site EMN-160411-160537009
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Arsonists who are torching cars on land in the east of the city are putting lives at risk, it has been claimed.

A large number of cars have been set alight on land off Oxney Road.

Burnt out cars etc at field next to the  Oxney Road travellers site EMN-160411-160550009

Burnt out cars etc at field next to the Oxney Road travellers site EMN-160411-160550009

The destroyed vehicles have been left over the past few months, leaving a dangerous eyesore. A pile of fire extinguishers have also been left on the field.

The fires come after Peterborough City Council spoke to the land owner during the summer over concerns about the same problem. The council paid for old cars to be removed from the site in August - but said they will not pay to have the vehicles moved this time.

It had been hoped measures would have been put in place to prevent cars being set on fire again - but they have not yet been installed.

The latest arson happened on Friday night, and Pete Jones, Arson Liaison Officer for Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service, said the fires were putting lives at risk, as not only were the blazes themselves dangerous, but crews were potentially being diverted from other incidents elsewhere.

He said: “Any kind of deliberate fire commits crews to incidents that could have been avoidable and stops us from attending incidents elsewhere.

“They also have potentially fatal consequences.”

Police confirmed that since the beginning of October there had been five arsons they were called about on Oxney Road - flytipping set alight at 9.15pm on October 5, a van was torched at 2.44am on October 29, an ice cream van was destroyed by fire at 6.08am on the same day, and a car was targeted at 8pm on November 4.

Chief Inspector Rob Hill of SaferPeterborough Prevention and Enforcement Service said: “We are aware of vehicles which have been abandoned and burnt out on land off Oxney Road.

“This is privately owned land. Prevention and Enforcement team officers are working with the landowner’s agents to confirm arrangements for clearing the vehicles, and have been in discussion with them over installing preventative measures.”

Anyone with information about the arson attacks is asked to call police on 101, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.