Arson investigation: Residents urged to check camera footage for “two suspicious people”

phot of several fire-damaged minibuses.
Fire-damaged minibuses in a car park within the Rolls-Royce site, Patchway.

Detectives investigating a series of arson attacks on vehicles in north Bristol in the early hours of yesterday (Sunday 3rd April 2022) have renewed an appeal for help from local residents.

Twenty-three vehicles in the Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke, Patchway and Stoke Gifford areas were destroyed after being set on fire between 1am and 4.40am*.

More than half of the vehicles were minibuses which belonged to a charity which provided transport services for vulnerable adults and children.

Kitchen & Laundry Appliance Care.

Detective inspector Will Thorpe said:

“We’re carrying out a thorough investigation into this series which has not only destroyed tens of thousands of pounds worth of vehicles but has left a charity unable to provide vital support to those in the local community.”

“Officers have carried out a number of house to house enquiries already and have also gathered CCTV from the area which appears to be of significance.”

“While we remain in the early stage of our inquiry, an initial review of the footage suggests two people were responsible for the attacks.”

“A number of people have already contacted us with information following yesterday’s public appeal and we’re really grateful for the support.”

“But we’re still keen to hear from local residents – particularly those in the Bradley Stoke and Stoke Gifford areas – who have CCTV, door camera or dashcam footage which captured two people together between 1am and 4.40am.”

“If residents with cameras could review their footage and contact us on 101 if they see anything suspicious, it could prove to be crucial to our investigation.”

Photo of two fire-damaged vehicles.
Two fire-damaged vehicles in Gatcombe Drive, Stoke Gifford.

Detective inspector Thorpe added:

“Our specialist crime scene investigators continue to work closely with our colleagues in the fire service to examine the vehicles which were targeted while neighbourhood officers remain in the area carrying out reassurance patrols.”

“Should anyone have any concerns about this series I’d encourage them to speak to an officer.”

If you can help, please call 101 and give the call handler the reference number 5222078490.

Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers 100 per cent anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via their anonymous online form. No personal details are taken, information cannot be traced or recorded and you will not go to court or have to speak to police when contacting Crimestoppers.


* The Journal’s analysis of reports published by Avon Fire & Rescue Service puts the total number of vehicles damaged across seven separate incidents at 29. The reported times of the incidents span the period 1.09am to 4.20am. View the full incident log.

CCTV footage released

UPDATE added 6th April 2022.

Since the incidents, several hours of CCTV and other footage has already been collated by police officers or handed in by members of the public.

An initial review of this footage has identified two people – believed to be teenage boys or young men – who police say they would like to talk to.

The two offenders set fire to the first vehicle at 1.09am on New Road, Stoke Gifford, before heading north where they carried out further attacks on Gatcombe Drive at 1.33am and then on Sandringham Road at 1.47am.

Nearly three quarters of an hour later, at 2.30am, they targeted vehicles parked at the Jubilee Centre on Savages Wood Road, Bradley Stoke (clip #2 in the above video), before doubling back to Little Stoke Park where they set more vehicles on fire at 3.09am.

The arsonists then headed west to a car park behind the Rolls-Royce site on Gipsy Patch Lane, where they destroyed 16 minibuses before most likely retracing their steps to set fire to a vehicle on Sherbourne Avenue, Bradley Stoke.

Vehicle owners for all but three of those targeted have been identified – with a Mini and two minibuses too badly damaged to trace their owners.

A team of detectives are investigating the series with support from colleagues across the organisation including specialist crime scene investigators.

Map showing the seven locations in north Bristol where vehicles were targeted.

Detective inspector Will Thorpe said:

“While we’re still in the early stages of the investigation we’ve already made significant progress.”

“Dozens of hours of footage from public and private CCTV and doorbell cameras has been gathered and continues to be reviewed.”

“We remain open-minded about the motive for these attacks but from the enquiries we’ve carried out to date, we don’t believe the offenders have specifically targeted particular vehicles.”

“The majority of the vehicles destroyed belonged to charities and it is hard to imagine that had the offenders known this, they would have deliberately set them on fire.”

“All the victims have been significantly inconvenienced by this shameful crime spree and we are committed to finding those responsible.”

“We continue to appeal for local residents in the area to check any camera footage they may have from the early hours of Sunday, in particular between 1am and 4.40am when the offenders may have walked past.”

“We’re also still keen to hear from any motorists with dash camera footage who may have driven through the area as well as anyone who witnessed two people acting suspiciously.”

Anyone who can help the police with their enquiries is asked to call 101 and provide the call handler with the reference 5222078490.

Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers 100 per cent anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via their anonymous online form.

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