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Teens arrested after beach huts broken into and torched on Mudeford sandbank

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Beach huts were broken into and torched and at Mudeford sandbank, near Hengistbury Head (picture: BBC)
Beach huts were broken into and torched and at Mudeford sandbank, near Hengistbury Head (picture: BBC)

TWO teenagers were arrested after more than 30 beach huts were raided or torched on Mudeford sandbank at the weekend.

Firefighters responded to reports three huts were ablaze on the stretch of beach, near Hengistbury Head, shortly after 2am on Saturday, before alerting police when they discovered another 31 had been broken into or damaged.

No one was the structures at the time, and a spokesperson for the Dorset force said there were no injuries.

Enquiries were under way to find out whether anything had been stolen.

A 19-year-old Christchurch man has been arrested on suspicion of arson and burglary.

Officers had already detained a 15-year-old boy from Bournemouth – also on suspicion of arson and burglary. Both have since been released on police bail pending further enquiries.

The scene was cordoned off as police investigated, and people have been urged to come forward if they saw any suspicious activity.

More than 30 were broken into (picture: BBC)
More than 30 were broken into (picture: BBC)

DI Andrew Kennard, of Bournemouth CID, also called for nearby residents to check their home CCTV systems for footage that could help the investigation.

“There has been considerable damage caused to a large number of beach huts and I would like to reassure the community that we are carrying out detailed enquiries into the incident,” he said.

“If you have any information that may assist my investigation and have not yet spoken to police, please get in touch.

“We are continuing to work with BCP Council to identify the owners of all the beach huts involved in this incident.”

DI Kennard added: “I would like to renew my appeal to anyone who owns a beach hut that has been affected and has not yet been contacted by either BCP Council or Dorset Police, please contact Dorset Police, quoting the incident number.”

Fire crews from Christchurch and Springbourne tackled the blaze, and by the time the emergency had been contained, one was completely destroyed, another was 60% damaged and the third 30%.

The firefighters remained until 5am damping down to prevent further flare-ups before handing the matter over to police.

Those with information should contact Dorset officers on 101, quoting crime reference number 6:48, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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