Home Secretary Priti Patel has condemned an arson attack that destroyed a police van as “shameful and shocking”.
Cleveland Police are appealing for information after one of its emergency response vans was torched in Doxford Walk, Middlesbrough, at around 7.10pm last night.
No one was injured in the blaze, which was extinguished by the fire brigade, but the vehicle was wrecked at a cost of thousands of pounds.
Ms Patel tweeted a report of the incident and commented: “Just terrible. A shameful & shocking attack.”
Cleveland Police’s Assistant Chief Constable Steve Graham called the incident “disgusting” as officers were on the front line protecting the public during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Police are seeking information to find the culprits
He said: “This is a shocking and disgusting attack on an emergency services vehicle, which now has to be taken off the road, impacting the service we provide to the public and at a cost of thousands to the public purse.
“I cannot fathom why anyone would decide to set fire to one of our vehicles, our officers and staff are all leaving their families to deliver a service on the front line during these unprecedented times.
“They are just as concerned as everyone else about what is happening, and are having to adapt to changes in their home and working lives as key workers.”
Detectives asked anyone with information, CCTV or dashcam footage of the area to call 101 or ring Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
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