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Appeal for information following arson series in Henstridge, Somerset

We’re appealing for information from the public following a series of arson incidents in Henstridge, Somerset.

On Tuesday 28 July at about 8pm, Avon Fire and Rescue Service responded to reports of a van on fire in the car park of the Virginia Ash Hotel.

The van, a Vauxhall Vivaro, received extensive damage in the fire, which is believed to have been started deliberately.

A further incident was reported on the same night at around 10.30pm outside an address at Townsend Farm Barton, Henstridge, in which a Renault Trucks Master van was deliberately set alight. A male suspect was witnessed running to a car and driving away from the scene.

Police subsequently attended both scenes and have conducted house to house enquiries.

PC Barry Gould said: “Given the close proximity and timing of these incidents we believe they are likely to be linked. They follow a number of reports of similar occurrences in the area in the preceding weeks, and police patrols have been stepped up in response to this.

“We would ask the public to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity to us.”

If you witnessed either incident or have information that could help with our investigation, please contact 101, quoting reference 5220168865 (Virginia Ash Hotel) or 5220168891 (Townsend Farm Barton).

You can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers 100 per cent anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via their Anonymous Online Form.

No personal details are taken, information cannot be traced or recorded and you will not go to court or have to speak to police when contacting Crimestoppers.