WATCH: Yobs set early morning blaze outside Portsmouth community centre

A GROUP of yobs have been caught on CCTV setting fire to items on a picnic bench outside a community centre.

Wednesday, 18th April 2018, 3:59 pm
Updated Wednesday, 18th April 2018, 4:01 pm
Youngsters set fire to a bench near Eastney Community Centre, Portsmouth. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Video captured by a camera outside Eastney Community Centre shows a large group gathering in the early hours of Saturday.

Staff have said six or seven youngsters turned up at around 11.35pm on Friday, before they left and then 12 youngsters returned at 3.35am.

Some of the larger group then proceeded to tip over a recycling bin, take cardboard and paper from it and set fire to them on top of the picnic bench.

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Youngsters set fire to a bench near Eastney Community Centre, Portsmouth. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Lindsay Shaw, from the centre, said: ‘They removed a large amount of cardboard and paper and put them on to the table and set them alight.’

The group left at about 4.30am.

‘The materials were still smouldering at 9am the next morning,’ Mr Shaw said.

Paint on the metal picnic bench was burned off, he added.

Lindsay Shaw, from Eastney Community Centre, next to the bench that was set on fire. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Police are now investigating the incident as arson.

A Hampshire police spokeswoman said: ‘Officers are investigating an incident of arson after a picnic bench was set alight at Eastney Community Centre, Bransbury Park, Eastney.

‘Items from the recycling bin had also been placed on the bench.

‘The incident happened overnight between Friday, April 13 and Saturday, April 14.

Youngsters set fire to a bench near Eastney Community Centre, Portsmouth. Picture: Habibur Rahman

‘Anyone with information should contact Hampshire Constabulary on 101 quoting 44180136799.’

Lindsay Shaw, from Eastney Community Centre, next to the bench that was set on fire. Picture: Habibur Rahman