Lighter taunt to firefighters

PUBLISHED: 11:45 02 March 2009 | UPDATED: 11:22 12 August 2010

FIREFIGHTERS were goaded by youths holding lighters as they put out a burning car. Two youngsters held and flicked lighters at

FIREFIGHTERS were 'goaded' by youths holding lighters as they put out a burning car.

Two youngsters held and flicked lighters at Sidcup fire crew as they attended the blaze outside the Sea Bream fish bar in Cotmandene Cresecent, St Paul's Cray.

The incident happened last Tuesday (17) at around 11.30pm after a number of bins which had been set fire to, melted in to a Ford S-Max, lighting it ablaze and destroying it.

Sidcup fire station watch manager John Broad, Sidcup, said: "A couple of lads were goading us. They were about 50 yards away and making gestures. When the police arrived they said they were only trying to light their cigarettes but they weren't."

Asked whether his fire officers suffered abuse regularly, Mr Broad said: "Generally we have a good relationship with the public but we sometimes get kids throwing apples at us. But these weren't the sharpest tools in the box- they were a pair of idiots."

The firefighters flagged down a police dog unit, which stopped the youths, aged 18 and 15, at the junction with Whippendell Way, as they tried to run away. They were arrested on suspicion of arson and have been bailed until March 31.

CCTV covering the incident unfolding has been seized by police.

Owner of the Sea Bream fish bar, Erdinch Seytanoglu, said there is frequently trouble outside the shops. He said: "I'm very worried. What can I do though? There is always trouble here. Six months ago they broke the windscreen on my car which cost me over £50 to repair.

"They don't deliberately target me. They are just looking for fun but the police should do more to stop it."

But Sergeant Dave Conyers, in charge of Cray Valley West Safer Neighbourhood Team, disputed the claims and said Cotmandene Crescent has fallen from being Bromley's 4th most common callout location to its 32nd since Autumn 2007.

He said: "If local residents or shop keepers want to see change in the area that they live and work, then get involved. Together we can make a difference".

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