POLICE investigating two overnight arson attacks on five vehicles in South Belfast are appealing for information.

In the first incident, police received a report at 1.45am this morning (23 October), that  Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service colleagues were attending four vehicles on fire in Jerusalem Street.

A Mini was completely destroyed while a Ford Fiesta, Renault Megane and Volkswagen Golf , which had all been parked on Collingwood Avenue were extensively damaged.

In the second incident, which was reported just after 5.30 am this morning, police received another report that NIF&RS colleagues were attending another vehicle on fire in nearby Damascus Street.

In this incident, a Volkswagen Polo was slightly damaged.

Chief Inspector Gavin Kirkpatrick said, “This is absolutely wanton destruction of people’s hard earned property.

“It is also incredibly dangerous as each of these cars were parked in a heavily populated area.

“The consequences of these vehicle fires could have been catastrophic.

“We are treating these incidents as arson and are following a number of lines of enquiry.

“We are also making enquiries into any potential links to two other incidents on Monday 7th October this year, when a Renault Clio and Audi which had been parked on Collingwood Avenue and a Volkswagen Sharan parked on Damascus Street were deliberately set on fire.

“Police patrolling the South Belfast area overnight responded to a number of calls relating to anti-social behaviour and fireworks being set off, this behaviour must stop.

“We have stepped up patrolling in the area and will continue to work with partner agencies to address local issues.”

“I appeal to anyone with any information about these incidents to contact police on 101 quoting reference number 79 of 23 October 2019.

“Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 which is 100% anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime.”

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