Arson attacks arrest made

Lough Ree Lifeboat searching for missing Armagh angler Daryl Burke.
Lough Ree Lifeboat searching for missing Armagh angler Daryl Burke.

The arrest of a man in connection with 11 separate arson attacks on vehicles in the Banbridge area has been welcomed by Ulster Unionist MLA Jo-Anne Dobson.

Mrs Dobson has described the development as a ‘major breakthrough’.

This comes after detectives from E District’s Tactical Crime Team arrested a 39 year old man in connection with the separate arson attacks.

The man was arrested on Wednesday September 24 after a black Fiesta Edge car was set on fire in the Hillhead Walk area.

A police spokesperson said: “A black Fiesta Edge had been set alight.

“We attended immediately and arrested a 39 year old man a short time later.”

Mrs Dobson said: “For far too long lives have been put at risk by the mindless thugs involved in these linked arson attacks.

“I have raised these incidences repeatedly with the police, including the Chief Constable, and also met with and helped many of the families involved.

“In this latest attack, there was an attempt to set a car alight in the Hillhead area, but this only caused damage to the door.

“Thankfully, on this occasion, the car did not go ablaze.

“Had it done so, we could so easily have been dealing with another major incident or a fatality.

“It is my hope that this arrest will bring these attacks to an end, and that residents and their families will finally be allowed to live free from fear.”

Also commenting Councillor Glenn Barr said: “The community and the town will very much welcome the arrest.

“This spate of arson attacks has left local people living in fear of their lives.

“This will provide much needed reassurance and confidence to the families who have been left to pick up the pieces following the previous arson attacks.

“I commend the police in making this arrest and hope that that this person will face the law.”

Meanwhile police have renewed their appeal for information on any of the recent arson attacks.

Anyone who may have have information which they believe may help police enquiries, is asked to contact police in Banbridge on the 101 number.

If you prefer to provide information without giving your details you can contact the independent Crimestoppers charity anonymously on 0800 555 111.