News 10 March 2009

Arrests after car fires

Two men aged 22 and from the Bromley area of London were arrested early this morning (Tuesday 10 March 2009) by officers investigating after cars appeared to have been set on fire in Whitstable.
One of the men was arrested in Valkyrie Avenue at 1.30am and the other in Borstal Hill at 2.30am. They are currently in custody and due to be questioned later today.
Kent Fire and Rescue Service notified police just before 11pm last night that they had been called put out a car (make not known) on fire in Valkyrie Avenue, Whistable. It appears that the car had been stolen earlier in the evening from south London.
At 12.50am today (Tuesday) the fire service alerted the police that they were dealing with a fire that had spread to three cars (two Ford Fiestas, other make unknown) parked together in a car park off Harwich Street. Witnesses reported that two men had been seen running from the area.
Officers are also trying to trace the owner of a car (make not known) found on fire in the St Augustine Business Park at Swalecliffe just before 7pm on Sunday and the owner of a Citreon AX found burning in Gosselin Street in Whitstable earlier in the day (1.35am). 
On Sunday a black taxi was reported on fire in Eddington Lane, Herne Bay, just after 9pm. The taxi driver reported that he had parked  the vehicle in New Street in the town earlier in the evening.
Det Insp Tony Pledger said: “We are looking at links between the suspicious car fires in Whitstable last night and early today and we shall be questioning the two men in custody about the incidents. It is too early in our investigation to say whether the fires on Sunday are connected.”

City Coucillor charged with corruption

A Canterbury city councillor has today (Tuesday 10 March 2009) been charged following an investigation by Kent Police’s Serious Economic Crime Unit.
Roger Matthews (57) of Beltinge Road, Herne Bay and company director Julian Brealy (50) of Mandarin Lane, Herne Bay, were both charged with corruption when they returned on police bail at Canterbury Police Station.
They were both bailed to appear at Maidstone magistrates court on Thursday 26 March 2009.