West Norfolk and parts of Fenland plagued with arson outbreaks including �20,000 boat destroyed

WEST Norfolk and parts of Fenland have been plagued by an outbreak of arsonists including the destruction of a �20,000 boat moored at Upwell.

Police today confirmed they are investigating nine separate arson attacks in recent weeks.

Residents in the Marshland, Upwell, Outwell and Downham Market areas are being urged to remain vigilant following the recent series of arsons.

Local police chief Inspector Mick Bates described the pattern as ‘highly unusual’ and is asking local communities to report any suspicious behaviour.

“Police are currently investigating nine separate incidents in the past three weeks, where trees, a number of vehicles and a boat have been deliberately set alight,” he said.

“Villages including Marshland St James, Walpole Highway, Upwell and Downham Market have been affected.”

Inspector Bates said: “While these incidents are not necessarily linked, this is a highly unusual emerging trend and we are asking residents to pay attention to and immediately report any suspicious behaviour in their communities.

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“Anyone who suspects those involved can contact police in confidence.”

He said police were investigating the following offences:

* 73 bales of hay set alight in a field off Narborough Road, Marham, causing more than �1400 worth of damage, at approximately 8.15pm on Wednesday September 1.

* Three arsons to trees, hedge and fencing at the rear of properties in Main Road, Terrington St John, on September 14, 17 and 23.

* Parked vehicle set alight at the junction with Lynn Road and Mill Road in Walpole Highway at 5.15am on October 4. Two people in a vehicle seen near the scene.

* The same period, vehicle outside Terrington St John Post Office, School Road, set alight, spreading to two neighbouring vehicles and the building itself, with residents inside at the time.

* Boat set alight at its mooring in Town Street, Upwell, between 2.15am and 2.30am on Wednesday October 6, boat destroyed at an estimated cost of �20,000.

* Parked car at the rear of Wales Court, Downham, set alight between 2am and 2.15am on Thursday October 7.

* Vehicle burnt out in a business compound Broomhill, Downham Market, following attempted theft between Saturday October 9 and Monday October 11.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Norfolk Constabulary on 0845 456 4567 or pass information via the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555111.

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