Racially Motivated Arson In Liverpool
Racist graffiti was found inside the burnt-out interior of the property yesterday morning, police confirmed.
The fire destroyed both upstairs bedrooms and caused severe heat and smoke damage to the front room.
The blaze swept through the unoccupied terraced house on Laburnum Grove in Wavertree at around 11am, prompting a member of the public to call the emergency services.
The two men currently renting the house raced back to the terrace before lunchtime.
The property’s landlord is Asian although police stressed that the investigation was at an early stage.
However, DI Neil Shaw said: “We are investigating the possibility that this fire was started maliciously and was racially motivated.
“We are treating this incident extremely seriously and are appealing to anyone with any information, or who may have seen someone acting suspiciously in the area around the time of the incident, to call us so we can take robust action against those responsible.
“Incidents of this nature, while very rare are exceptionally upsetting for the victims, and we are working hard to identify the offender.”
One resident said there had been a bad atmosphere in the neighbourhood recently due to the presence of right wing groups.
He also said: “The lads were crying in the street when they saw their house.”
Local ward councillor Jake Morrison visited the crime scene last night.
He said: “I have agreed to provide accommodation for the victims tonight.
“This is a disgraceful attack on our community. We need a zero tolerance approach to this.
“I am working closely with the police and the community to offer some reassurance to residents. I am also liaising with the community safety department at Liverpool City Council.
“The community has rallied round with neighbours offering to help and expressing outrage. Residents have agreed to keen an eye on the house from now on.”
It is understood clothes were set on fire inside the house and that the victims lost all their possessions in the fire.
Anyone with information is asked to call Merseyside Police on 0151 777 5153 , or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111