DETECTIVES have been brought in to investigate a series of incidents in which vehicles were set on fire in a Largs street.

Residents in Charles Street recently told the News of three separate incidents in recent weeks which vehicles were found ablaze in the road.

Local Police Scotland sergeant Donald Fisher gave an update to members of Largs Community Council (LCC) after they expressed their concern at the incidents.

A trailer was set alight shortly before Bonfire Night, and a few days later a van to which the trailer had been parked was also found ablaze.

Then, on November 13, a car parked close to the same van was also destroyed by fire.

A shed and caravan in nearby Hill Street were also set alight before the Charles Street incidents.

Sergeant Fisher said: "When wilful fire-raising is involved, the CID becomes immediately involved, but anything else we can do to help and assist is also important.

Largs and Millport Weekly News: Sgt Donald Fisher
"We have been working closely with Scottish Fire and Rescue, who have also been concerned at the situation.

"There is no direct link between the incidents, other than that they have all been happening in the early hours of the morning, which tends to rule out a certain demographic - and tends to be at a time when there is nobody about to see anything happening.

"We have been taking a closer look at the situation in terms of access to Charles Street - is it a group or is it an individual that is involved? Is there a particular reason that Charles Street is targeted, and its access routes, and its close proximity to Morrisons? Are any of these things significant?

Community councillor Margaret Woods, who chairs the LCC police sub committee said: "It is a worrying state of affairs as it has been going on for a few months now with another business van also having been torched a few months ago."

Asked whether the vehicles had been specifically driven to Largs from an outlying area before being set on fire, Sergeant Fisher responded that that did not appear to be the case with any of the incidents - with the van and trailer having been parked in the street for many months.

Largs and Millport Weekly News:

Sergeant Fisher pointed out other incidents in the town, including a blaze in a disused office building on the site of the town's planned new M&S Foodhall at the end of September.

He added he could understand why residents were concerned by the ongoing situation - but pointed out that additional patrols have been brought in.

Sergeant Fisher told the community council there could be a number of 'trigger points' for the incidents, from drugs to organised crime.

Police confirmed that they had managed to remove the destroyed vehicles on Tuesday.

Councillor Tom Marshall, who was acting on behalf of residents to get the damage and debris removed, said that this was 'good news' as the appearance of damage often attracts more crime, and referred to the 'broken windows' theory in America, that one broken window can lead to more if not dealt with.

Largs and Millport Weekly News:

Sergeant Fisher added: "“Wilful fires are not only dangerous to those who set them, members of the public and emergency services attending the incidents are also put at risk. We’ll continue to work with partner agencies to identify those responsible. 

“I’d ask anyone with information about wilful fires in the area to contact us on 101, or in the case of an emergency 999.”