A HUNT has been launched for an arsonist who has left behind a trail of destruction following bin attacks.
Ten blazes have been started on purpose in wheelie bins across Peterlee since Thursday, March 5, with the first reported in Grisedale Road at around 10pm, followed by another in nearby Chapel Hill Road at around 11pm.
On Sunday, March 8, at 12.15am, a fire was started in Scarfell Close at 12.15am, with three reported in Scarfell Close in the early hours of the next morning and another in Grisedale at 12.15am.
In the early hours of March 17, three bins were burned down in Little Eden at 2.30am, with the more recent last night, when a bin in Scarfell Close was damaged at 12.10am.
CCTV footage from Little Eden has been released by police as part of their investigation, which shows a hooded figure walk way from the area where a bin can then be seen to catch fire.
All were inside yards or gated areas and were close to homes, with a number of sheds left damaged by heat and smoke,
We are lucky so far that no-one has been hurt or even killed.Inspector Warren Edwards
Police and the fire service are working to reduce the risk to properties in the area, with increased patrols by officers and efforts being carried out to fund security improvements.
Investigators say they cannot be sure if the same person is responsible for the arsons, but hope residents will come forward with information to help with inquiries.
Peterlee Neighbourhood Policing Team Inspector Warren Edwards said; “This irresponsible action is putting people in real danger, since the flames can easily spread from the bin to the house.
“We are lucky so far that no-one has been hurt or even killed.
“I would urge people to do what they can to look at their own security and keep their bins away from the property, if possible.
“If anyone knows who might be behind these incidents, please contact police or Crimestoppers.”
Police can be called on 101 or Crimestoppers 0800 555111.