Community news and investigative journalism for Wapping E1W and Tower Hamlets London

Eight arson attacks overnight in Wapping

By on August 6, 2016 in Crime & Policing, News

In the early hours of Saturday 6th August an arsonist set fire to recycling bins in at least eight different locations in Wapping. Fortunately nobody was injured and none of the fires were of any significant size.

Both the Metropolitan Police and the London Fire Brigade attended. It seems that the attacks took place between 01:00 and 05:00 this morning and are likely to all be the work of one person or group.

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Burnt recycling bin outside Willoughby House, Green Bank.

Details of the arson attacks are as follows:

  1. Four recycling bins opposite the Turks Head Cafe in Scandrett Street.
  2. One recycling bin outside Willoughby House, Green Bank
  3. One recycling bin outside Vancouver House, Green Bank
  4. One recycling bin outside Ross House, Prusom Street
  5. Street sweeper’s cart (brand new) completely destroyed by fire rear of Laksha Bay, Wapping Lane.
  6. One recycling bin outside Jackman House, Green Bank (Watts Street side)
  7. Another two attacks happened at unknown locations in Wapping.

The Love Wapping Urban Rangers (Reasonably Quick Incident Response Unit If They Happen To Be There Already) just happened to be wandering past the Turks Head Cafe when all the patrol rangers noticed that the four bins opposite the Turks Head were not quite as they should be.

Closer inspection revealed that they were, to use a technical term, well burnt. One was still very warm.

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Four burnt recycling bins outside Turks Head Cafe / John Orwell Sports Centre.

101 was dialled using the LW state-of-the-art telephonic apparatus and a MPS Tower Hamlets response vehicle turned up very quickly.

Just after the police officer had left one of our street cleaners, Michael, informed out rangers of other incidents that had happened overnight so we set off to have a look with Michael as our guide.

One of the recycling bins outside Vancouver House was still smoldering and, on the advice of our local SNT team, our rangers called the Fire Brigade as our amateur dousing efforts were, well, amateur.

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Street cleaner’s cart destroyed by fire behind Laksha Bay, Wapping Lane.

Shadwell Blue Watch

The professionals from Shadwell Blue Watch turned up very quickly indeed and gave the rest of the burning rubbish a good soaking.

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Shadwell Blue Watch LFB dousing recycling bin outside Vancouver House, Green Bank.

Blue Watch also told us about the other two incidents.

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Shadwell Blue Watch – shy, retiring types but very good at what they do! Thanks guys!

Check your bins

Advice from our local policing team is for everyone to check any recycling bins this morning just in case there are more fires that have been burning but not discovered.

If you do find a fire call the Fire Brigade immediately on 999.

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Burnt recycling bin outside Ross House, Prusom Street

As ever if you see anything suspicious always dial 101, or in the case of any possible risk to life or property 999.

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Burnt recycling bin outside Jackman House, Watts Street.

LW Comment

An arson attack in Wapping is unusual.

Eight in one night is exceptional.

It is easy to dismiss these incidents because only recycling bins and the roadsweepers cart were damaged but next time it could be something much more serious and people could get hurt.

Please keep your eyes open and if you see anything suspicious dial 999 immediately.

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Burnt contents of one of the bins.


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