Preston residents ‘Sick of crime on our streets’

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The victim of an arson attack said his neighbours are “sick and tired” of crime in their area.

In the early hours of Sunday, January 4, a family’s Renault Scenic was wrecked by fire when it was parked in St Stephen’s Road.

CCTV from a nearby property has captured two or three men smashing a side window of the car and throwing in a lit item inside. A fire was also started underneath the car.

The father, who has asked not to be named for fear of reprisals, said he, family and friends were frightened by the number off crimes in recent months, and called on the community to name and shame those responsible.

He said: “Now it’s my car that’s been burned out, but tomorrow is it a house? Then is it going to be the school over the road? We were very lucky the car fire didn’t spread.

“The neighbourhood is in uproar because this keeps happening.

“We need more CCTV, more patrols and for the police and politicians to act, because we’re all sick and tired of it.

“These thugs who are doing this need to be named, shamed, put in jail and have the key thrown away.”

Latest figures available from show there were 18 crimes recorded for the road and nearby side streets in three months from September to November 2014.

It was also where 18-year-old Jonjo Highton was fatally stabbed in August.

Speaking about the arson, the man, who lives in nearby Deepdale Road, added: “We’re absolutely disgusted by what’s happened and my wife and kids are very frightened.

“It’s not just about the money or the hassle, it’s memories of family trips we’ve taken in that car and the sentimental stuff.”

It is not known whether the car was firebombed in a random or targetted attack.

A police spokesman said: “This matter is being treated as arson and is still under investigation.

“We are relying on people to come forward with information on who is responsible.

“If anyone saw what happened or has any information, call the police on 101 quoting 153 of January 4.”

Nobody from the St George’s Neighbourhood policing team was available to speak to about crime in the area when approached by the Evening Post.