Police homes attacked with petrol bombs
DETECTIVES are hunting arsonists who targeted the homes of two police officers and their families in shocking early morning attacks. The houses, in Clacton and Holland on Sea, were hit within 10 minutes of each other by petrol bombs which were thrown through windows, starting blazes in each property.
DETECTIVES are hunting arsonists who targeted the homes of two police officers and their families in shocking early morning attacks.
The houses, in Clacton and Holland on Sea, were hit within 10 minutes of each other by petrol bombs which were thrown through windows, starting blazes in each property.
Both the officers are married with children and although no one was seriously injured, the attacks are being treated as attempted murder.
In each case the family awoke to the loud noise as windows were smashed and at least two petrol bombs, made from empty milk bottles, were thrown into the homes.
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Police have said they are remaining open-minded as to why the officers were targeted - although they confirmed the incidents were being linked.
They believe more than one person was involved and are currently looking at CCTV footage to see if they can pick up any clues.
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Both homes remained taped-off with uniform officers guarding them yesterday as police continued their investigations.
It is not yet clear how the arsonists discovered the information about where the officers lived.
The first arson attack happened just after 5am in Holland Road, Clacton, when the petrol bomb was put through a smashed window next to the front door.
The fire “got a good grip” of the stairs before it was put out by the officer although it did start again later and was brought under control by firefighters.
The male officer was left with cuts to his feet after running bare foot over the broken glass in a bid to fight the fire and get his family out.
The second attack happened shortly afterwards in Frinton Road, Holland on Sea, further away from the town centre and more than a mile from the first fire.
No one was injured in the second attack as the fire did not take hold and was put out by the officer.
There was also a spate of damage to cars near the home in Frinton Road with three vehicles damaged with windows being smashed and there was also tyre slashed on one car.
At Clacton police station yesterdayDetective Superintendent Tim Wills said such attacks were a rare occurrence.
He has also appealed for help from the public who may have spotted the people involved or had empty milk bottles taken from their home.
“We are remaining open-minded and all possibilities are being investigated - it is particularly concerning because the officers work and live in the community and we need our officers to feel safe to do their jobs.
“Both are extremely shocked by events and we are offering them support as result of this.
“A petrol-like substance was used as an accelerant, contained within glass milk bottles, and it was the same at both incidents.
“They have been formally linked and I suspect there was more than one offender because of the nature of how it happened.”
A spokesman for the ambulance service said they had been called to both incidents although no one needed hospital treatment.
Anyone with information about the attacks or saw any suspicious activity at the time should call Essex Police's major investigation team on 01245 452207.
People wanting to give information anonymously can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.