Belfast Telegraph

Arson attacks prompt police action

A major police operation has been launched to catch suspected arsonists targeting cars in Belfast's student heartland.

A total of eight vehicles have been destroyed in a spate of attacks in the south of the city.

In the latest incident, during the early hours of this morning, two cars were set alight at Delhi Street.

Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) Superintendent Darrin Jones said officers with specialist video equipment were now being deployed in a bid to thwart further crimes.

He said: " These further two incidents of arson are being treated extremely seriously by police.

"This is extremely reckless behaviour which poses a real risk to life.

"Streets in this area are very narrow and where a fire starts it has the potential to spread very rapidly."

During the early hours of Saturday and Sunday, six cars were torched at Cadogan Street, Collingwood Avenue, Damascus Street and Delhi Street.

One of the damaged vehicles was owned by a 24-year-old French student on placement in Belfast, while another belonged to a Slovakian care worker.

Police do not, at this stage, believe the attacks to be sectarian or racially motivated.

In the past week, the PSNI said officers had responded to 27 incidents of crime in the Holylands area and had made 40 referrals to universities.

In addition, two 18-year-old men were arrested at Carmel Street on suspicion of burglary during the early hours of this morning.

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