ARSONISTS setting fire to a bins in Stanley town centre came dangerously close to causing considerable damage to surrounding buildings, police have warned.

Stanley Police highlighted the risk after youths purposely set light to bins in the vicinity of the town's Iceland and Pact House on Thursday night.

In a Facebook post Stanley Police said: "The suspects had been setting off fireworks before setting fire to a bin behind Iceland and also a bin next to Pact House.

"In both instances fire service attended to extinguish the fires – the Pact House fire is particularly concerning as this could very easily have spread to the building and caused considerable damage.

"We do have CCTV of the incidents and are working to identify the culprits."

Police added: "The risks around starting fires and playing with fireworks cannot be understated. The vast majority of the youths who attend the town centre or other areas are well behaved, pleasant and polite.

"The actions of a minority are placing a huge risk to themselves and to others. We are very concerned that the actions of these individuals is going to lead to serious injury or worse to themselves or others.

"We have found recently that where we have identified youths for use of fireworks / starting fires that the parents had no idea what their children had been up to.

"Help us keep your children and the community safe. Do you know where your child is on an evening? Are they coming home smelling of smoke? Do they have access to fireworks? Do you know who they are with?"

Anyone with information about Thursday night's incident should contact Durham Police on 101 quoting incident DHM-15102020-0389."