Sudbury: Police urged to step up bid to catch arsonists

Burnt out car in Acton Lane

Burnt out car in Acton Lane - Credit: Archant

Not enough is being done to catch the arsonists who set fire to cars and wheelie bins in a residential street in Sudbury, it has been claimed.

Last month, residents of Acton Lane were left shaken after arsonists struck just after midnight on August 1, destroying three cars and damaging a fourth.

Now more than a month on, some people living in the street have criticised police for failing to catch the culprits.

At a town council meeting this week, Babergh local policing commander, Inspector Danny Cooper, said officers were continuing to investigate the incidents of arson in Acton Lane and a linked incident in Essex Avenue, which saw a car fire spread to a neighbouring home.

But one resident, who asked not to be named, said: “I can’t understand why the police are not taking this more seriously – they could have been facing a murder enquiry. The emotional damage that has been done to residents is awful and they are scared it is going to happen again.

“I think if the police were absolutely determined, they could get the people responsible for this.”

South Suffolk conservative candidate, James Cartlidge, is calling for a “zero tolerance” approach from police to this type of “wanton vandalism”. He has arranged a meeting with Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore and intends to raise the subject at a forthcoming priority setting meeting on September 18.

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He said: “This remains a very shocking crime that happened within a minute’s walk of a police station. Cars were set alight right next to terraced residential properties and we were lucky that fatalities did not result. Speaking to residents, they are understandably insecure and regrettably do not feel confident that the police are doing everything they can to reassure them.”

Insp Cooper described arson as a “very difficult crime to detect”. He said: “It takes seconds to commit the crime and they (the perpetrators) don’t leave much evidence.

“Residents have been in touch with concerns about the Acton Lane area and we have responded. As a result, officers have increased patrols in the area around key times, conducted house-to-house enquiries speaking to local residents and reviewing CCTV in the surrounding area.

“We continue to appeal for anyone with information in relation to these incidents to call 101.”