Attempted arson at club prompts alert

PCSO Liam Whittington with the gas bottle found at Westgate Park
PCSO Liam Whittington with the gas bottle found at Westgate Park

POLICE are warning the public to be vigilant after an incident at Westgate Bowling Club became the latest in a series of arson related attacks.

Last Wednesday, February 29, police discovered a gas cylinder, with a pair of burnt gloves and a disposable lighter, at disused tennis courts at Westgate Park near to the bowling club – an incident which they are treating as attempted arson.

Bridlington Neighbourhood Policing team focused on arson attacks as one of their priority patrol targets during February after incidents near Bridlington railway station, as well as Chantry Court.

PCSO Liam Whittington, who patrols the south central ward, said: “There have been a number of arson attacks and serious fires in the Bridlington area within the past few months.

“Prior to this there have also been a number of wheelie bin fires in and around the skate park area of Bridlington.

“Whoever has been carrying out these attacks are clearly set on causing severe damage to property.

“Use of accelerants such as gas bottles, deodorant canisters, and lighter fluids within the fires would suggest an intention for deliberate ignition which is a serious concern.” Police in Bridlington are now working closely with Humberside Fire and Rescue service to identify suspects and those areas of town that could potentially be targeted.

“The actions of those involved in these incidents are incredibly stupid and dangerous and could result in serious or fatal injuries to either themselves or others,” PCSO Whittington continued.

“The local police and fire services would like the help of the local community to catch those responsible and prevent any potential tradgedies.”

Dave Wilson, secretary at Westgate Bowling Club, said that he believed those responsible on this occasion were probably a group of teenagers, but is wary of further damage to the club after an arson attack at the club last April.

“I think the gas bottle might have been pretty much empty but going near it with a lighter is a really stupid thing to do for anyone. You could get a flashback and then the whole thing can blow up, which is very dangerous for those involved and others close by,” said Dave.

“Someone reported seeing lights on down at the clubhouse, but when we arrived it was just at the tennis courts.”

Police are appealing for anyone with information about the incident, or any other arson attacks in Bridlington, to contact them on 101 to report any suspicious behaviour or to speak with local officers.