Two teenagers arrested after suspected arson attacks in Blyth

Two teenagers have been arrested in connection with a spate of fires in Blyth, including severely damaging the iconic beach huts.

Monday, 20th January 2020, 3:37 pm
Updated Tuesday, 21st January 2020, 4:56 pm
The damaged beach huts at Blyth. Picture by John Tuttiett.

Investigations are continuing into the spate of fires last Thursday evening which saw the huts and a number of vehicles targeted.

Fire crews and police were called out at 11.15pm on January 16 to reports a number of the huts had been set on fire. A short time later, police were also alerted to vehicle fires on Wellesley Drive and Grenville Road.

Nobody was injured during any of the incidents.

Now, two male teenagers, aged 19 and 16, have been arrested on suspicion of arson and remain in police custody at this time.

Inspector Neil Hall, one of the lead investigating officers, said: “We take reports of this kind incredibly seriously, and we acknowledge the significant effect that this can have on not only victims but the community as a whole.

“With the nature of the fires, it is incredibly lucky that nobody was seriously injured and as enquiries continue we urge anyone who saw anything suspicious to come forward and contact police with any information.”

Officials at Northumberland County Council have condemned the senseless acts.

Coun Cath Homer, cabinet member with responsibility for culture, leisure and tourism, said: “This is a senseless act of vandalism which has caused dismay and distress within the town.

“Thankfully it appears to be a random and isolated incident that certainly doesn’t reflect the wider community in Blyth.

“The beach huts are an iconic feature of the town and our county, and much loved by residents and visitors alike, and we’ll work to restore the beach huts as a matter of urgency.

“Tourism is growing in the area, which many of the local businesses rely on. This is such a shame given the resurgence of Blyth, and the investment that’s going into the town.

“Our fire service was quick to respond, and rest reassured we are working with the police and partners to bring those responsible to justice.”

Witnesses or anybody who saw anything suspicious in the area is asked to contact police on 101 quoting reference 1125 16/01/20.