Just a "matter of time" until someone is killed or injured - police warning following latest Redditch arson attack

POLICE investigating the latest in a series of arson attacks in Redditch have again warned that it is just a matter of time until someone is seriously injured or even killed if the fires do not stop.

They are also appealing for witnesses and information after a wheelie bin was set alight in Winforton Close, Winyates, between 7pm and 7.50pm on Tuesday, November 20.

Neighbours knocked on the homeowner's door to tell her that her wheelie bin, which was next to the front door, was on fire. She quickly poured water over it and fortunately was able to put it out.

It is being linked to a large number of wheelie bin and bin cupboard arsons in the Winyates area since September.

Sergeant Neil Billingham said: "These fires are putting residents at considerable risk and if they continue it is only a matter of time before someone is seriously injured or even killed.

"It was fortunate that neighbours were able to alert the homeowner and dragged the bin away from the door. If the fire had been allowed to carry on burning it could have spread to the house.”

Sgt Billingham's team was today delivering letters to 400 residents in the area affected by the bin fires which incorporates Mordiford Close, Lingen Close, Fownhope Close, Kinnersley Close, Winforton Close and Dolben Lane.

Householders are advised to take preventative measures such as removing wheelie bins from the front of their properties, particularly if kept next to gas and electric cupboards; not to leave bags of rubbish next to homes, in porches or in unsecured bin cupboards; and if possible to lock bin cupboards to prevent unauthorised access.

Sgt Billingham added: "We are also asking residents to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity to us, such as people hanging around their addresses after dark which is when most of these fires are happening." 

Officers from Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service are continuing to work closely with the police and the local council to monitor the situation and police have increased patrols in the area.

Witnesses or anyone with information about any of the fires are asked to contact officers at Redditch Police Station on the non-emergency number 101, quoting incident reference 554-S-201112, or ring the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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