The Town Council is proactively working with the Police and has shared CCTV footage from Victoria Place. Please see the below statement from the investigating Sergeant.
Please call 101 if you have any information at all that could be useful.
“Dear Brightlingsea Parish Councillors,
I just wanted to give you all an update on the investigation into the car fires.
I have been carrying out extensive research to locate all crimes involving thefts from or interference with motor vehicles in Brightlingsea since Jan 2021. We had a spate of cars being broken into overnight between Jan and May. I was already aware of these, and no suspect was ever identified, and no CCTV provided. This was separate to the theft of catalytic converters that occurred a few months ago. My team arrested 3 suspects for those offences, and they remain under investigation.
On 28th August a car was broken into and set fire to in Brightlingsea. I have compared that CCTV to the latest two fires and can confirm it is the same suspect. Unfortunately, the CCTV is not good enough quality to get facial features (privately owned CCV, night and mounted high on a building) but it does confirm the suspect is wearing the same clothes on both occasions.
Judging by the small items taken from the vehicles, the fairly close proximity of offences and that fact that the suspect is never seen making off in a car, I would suggest he is local and on foot, rather than travelling into Brightlingsea from outside.
At this time my best chance of identifying the suspect is through forensics. I am sure you will understand that is no easy task when the car has been burnt out and fire have sprayed water all over it. I am therefore focusing our efforts on other cars that have been entered and searched on the same night, but not set fire too. I am awaiting results from our Crime Scene Investigators.
In the meantime, I need to ensure there are patrols overnight in Brightlingsea ready to respond immediately and proactively looking for the suspect. I have officers staying on after late shifts on Sunday and Monday to carry out that task. This prevents them being diverted to other calls by our control room. I have also requested officers from our Operational Policing Command be deployed to Brightlingsea over night until the suspect is caught.
Please rest assured that I am taking these crimes very seriously and am working hard to identify the suspect and bring him to justice as swiftly as possible.
I am more than happy for you to share this email through the community. I want residents to know what we are doing and why. I have sent the same email to Brightlingsea NHW.
If you have any questions I am at work until 1600 today and in the office 0800 – 1600 on Monday 20th Sept.
Thank you for your time.
Sergeant Ben Felton
PS 74973 Felton
B Shift CPT
Clacton Police Station