Despair over lack of police action on Rotherham car arson

By Michael Upton | 05/10/2017

Despair over lack of police action on Rotherham car arson
Rob Bates and Laura Eaves pictured with Rob's car which was damaged by a fire which was started in Laura's car outside their home at Douglas Street Apartments. 171700

A MOTORIST has described the horrifying moment she woke to find her beloved car had been wrecked in a late-night arson attack.

Laura Eaves (28) accused police of showing little interest in the fire outside her flat in Rotherham town centre which destroyed her Vauxhall Astra and damaged two other cars.

“My partner and I were woken by two police officers banging on our door who asked us to come down as our vehicles were on fire,” said Laura, of Mansfield Road.

“When we got outside we were met by firefighters who were still putting out the blaze.

“It was very confusing, quite shocking and a bit scary. I didn’t know what to do.

“I had saved up for that car — it was the nicest car I had ever owned and then I woke up to find it was no more.”

Laura’s silver Astra was targeted at 2.30am on Friday, September 15 — less than half an hour before another suspicious car fire in Lindley Street, Eastwood.

“We only spent about ten minutes with the police giving them details before they had to leave to go to a fire in Eastwood,” said Laura.

“The number of arson attacks on cars is getting ridiculous.”

She added: “It’s been a very distressing time and I am still struggling to deal with it.

“I’m constantly worried they might come back and do it again.”


Laura's car pictured after the attack

The fire was initially thought to have been caused by an electrical fault but footage from Laura’s landlord’s security cameras showed a man break into and rummage through the car before setting it alight.

“My car was a total loss and because my insurance have no-one to claim money back from the claim goes down as my fault and I have lost my no claims discount,” she added.

“There is also extensive damage to my partner’s cars and the neighbour’s car. “Unfortunately, because the fire was not my fault, they are both unable to claim against my insurance and would have to claim on their own resulting in them also losing their own no claims discount.

“It’s a joke that someone is getting away with this. 

“The car was parked directly outside the flats.

“The fire was just a few feet from people’s windows and the panes of one flat had been shattered.”

Despite her landlord sending CCTV footage to the police, Laura, who has had to rely on her partner Rob Bates for lifts after her car was written off, said she had heard nothing from them since.

“There are tons of cameras around us so he (the arsonist) must be on one of those,” she said.

“I would have expected some sort of update on the investigation.

“It’s as if they’re not bothered.”

Sgt Stephen Newton said: “CCTV taken from the scene has been reviewed, enquiries have been completed in the area and all forensic opportunities have been looked into. 

“As there was limited information gathered from these enquiries, lack of forensic opportunities due to the extensive damage caused to the car and limited witnesses; no further lines of inquiry could be established at this time.

“Our focus remains keeping members of our communities safe and working to bring offenders to justice, and where possible we will always strive to achieve this.”

Anyone with information about the arson attack should contact the police on 101 quoting incident 69 of September 15 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.



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