Detectives investigating an arson attack at the Crooked House in Himley last weekend continue to work through a number of lines of enquiry.
A CCTV trawl, forensics and witness accounts are being worked through as we try to piece together the circumstances which led to the fire.
We understand there is some speculation about people being arrested, this is not the case currently.
We fully recognise the impact of the fire and later demolition of the building on the community, given the significance of this distinctive and popular attraction.
We’d like to provide further reassurance that the building was not demolished while under police control. Following the conclusion of the examination by fire investigators and our own investigators, the site was released back to the owner.
Prior to this, South Staffordshire Council officers met with the landowner to ensure that the site was left safe. As has been publicly stated by the council, advice was offered to the landowner to partially remove some elements of the building with the purpose of making the building safe. Advice was also offered to use fencing and security staff to maintain the security of the site.
As the site had been returned to the landowner a police presence was no longer required on the site.
You will be aware that South Staffordshire Council is now conducting an investigation into the subsequent demolition of the entire building, without appropriate permissions.
There has been considerable speculation circulating within communities and online which, while understandable, has been unhelpful. We are trying to provide accurate and timely updates, but as you can appreciate, there is significant work and liaison required with a number of partners which needs to be completed. All of this takes time. We appreciate your patience.
We continue to appeal to anyone with any information, not matter how insignificant it may seem to get in touch via 101 or by using Live Chat on our website.
Crimestoppers can also be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111.