Appeal over criminal damage after sprinkler deliberately set off in flats
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We are appealing for information after a water sprinkler head was deliberately set off at a block of flats in Stoke-on-Trent, causing homes to be evacuated as well as damage to property.
We were called to a block of flats off Well Street, Hanley, at 5.25pm on Thursday (27 October) following reports of criminal damage.
It was reported that a water sprinkler head had been deliberately tampered with, causing damage to a communal area.
No one was reported injured.
Councillor Carl Edwards, Stoke-on-Trent City Council cabinet member for the environment and housing, said: “I’m incredibly dismayed to report that the sprinklers on the top floor of St Luke’s Court were maliciously set off yesterday, causing considerable water damage which has impacted on the electrics in the building.
“In the interests of safety, our teams mobilised very quickly to contact and source emergency accommodation for residents of more than 40 flats in the block.
“This has been deeply disruptive and unfortunately works to ensure that the building is safe for residents to return to will have to continue over the weekend.
“As well as supporting all residents with emergency accommodation until it is safe for them to return, we are helping them with meal allowances and travel to the accommodation, should they need it.
“We take an incredibly dim view of the culprits who are responsible for this damage and upheaval.
“They have brought misery to the lives of residents, wasted public services that could better be used to do good in the city, and caused considerable expense that taxpayers will have to foot.
“This is mindless vandalism targeting social housing.
“We are working with the police and will do all we can to catch those responsible.”
Officers are appealing for anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area prior to the activation of the sprinklers to get in touch with us.
We are particularly keen to speak to anyone who saw two men entering the block of flats just before 9.20am on Thursday (27 October) and leaving just before 10.10am.
Anyone with information should contact us on Facebook, Twitter, or call 101, quoting incident number 509 of 28 October.
Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.