Sunday, July 21Royal Holloway's offical student publication, est. 1986

Man questioned over Egham arson attacks

A 20-year-old man has been questioned by police on suspicion of arson and released on bail until 12 January 2016, after charity donation bags were set alight outside of Egham’s Oxfam and Blue Cross shops.

Despite thousands of pounds of damage being caused, both charity shops are now reopen to the public, with Oxfam managing to reopen on the same day the attack occurred. Investigating crime officers are currently working with fire investigators to determine the cause of the fires, but said the incidents are being treated as arson.

Oxfam manager Jasmin Shelley said the public have been more than supportive, with businesses such as Enterprise Rent-A-Car offering their support. Employee Chris Beresford has offered to raise money to cover the costs of repairing the door frame and window which was damaged in the attack.

Manager Jasmin also said that: “Arson is bad enough anyway, but to target charity shops is malicious and inconceivable. But, we are back in business and we welcome the continued support of people coming to do shopping here more than ever”.

Detective Constable Jack Yearwood investigating said: “This was a dangerous and despicable act where the charitable donations of members of the public have been destroyed in a mindless attack. It is clear that this fire could easily have had much more serious consequences. The local Safer Neighbourhood Team have increased high visibility patrols in the area to reassure residents and businesses.”

Yearwood is appealing for information from the public: “The fires started in a very public place so I feel certain that someone must have seen or heard something out of the ordinary and I would urge them to get in contact with us”.

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101, quoting reference 45150107942, or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 for free.