Skip to main content

Appeal in connection with 2013 arson

News   •   May 20, 2016 13:38 BST

[Image of car police wish to trace]

Police are renewing appeals and offering a reward of up to £5,000 for information following a fire that destroyed a community centre in Muswell Hill. 

The Metropolitan Police Service is offering a reward of up to £5,000 for information leading to the identification, arrest and prosecution of the person(s) responsible for the fire at the Somali Bravanese Welfare Association on Coppetts Road in Barnet during the early hours of 5 June 2013. 

Officers have released a CCTV image of a light-coloured Toyota Corolla Verso vehicle, which was seen in very close proximity to the centre immediately before the time of the incident, and are keen to identify and trace the driver, the owner or anyone with information about the vehicle.

At 03:23hrs, officers were called by the London Fire Brigade to reports of the fire at the Somali Bravanese Welfare Association. Police and the London Ambulance Service attended and two properties close to the blaze were also evacuated.

The fire, which is being investigated as arson, completely destroyed the community centre and it has since been demolished. Graffiti reading 'EDL' was found on the outside of building and police are treating the incident as a hate crime.

Specialist officers from the Met’s Counter-Terrorism Command are leading the investigation into the incident and detectives continue to appeal for anyone with information to get in touch.

They would like to hear from anyone who was in the vicinity of Coppetts Road on the evening of 4 June or the early hours of 5 June 2013, or who may have any information regarding this incident to contact them. 

Chief Inspector Dave Lobb, of Barnet Borough, said: "We are committed to protecting our communities and are still seeking to bring those responsible to justice. I would urge anybody with information to call the police on 101. Despite the passage of time it is not too late to do the right thing. If you wish you can contact Crimestoppers, which is completely anonymous."

Anyone who can assist police should call 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

No arrests have been made and enquiries continue.