Officers will be stopping and searching people in the Benhilton area in a bid to stop a fire-starter's arson spree.

The arsonist has lit a spate of fires in the area over the last three weeks, most recently destroying two vans and a bin store below a block of flats in Cressingham Grove.

In a bid to stop the offender before he or she does more damage, police have scaled-up patrols in the area and will be stopping and searching more people as well as delivering leaflets to neighbours urging them to be on the lookout.

Sergeant Simon Alexander, of the Sutton central safer neighbourhoods team, said: "Fires can get out of control quickly and we need to catch the perpetrators as soon as possible."

The most recent attacks took place overnight between Wednesday and Thursday last week. The fire bug torched a bin beneath a block of flats at around midnight and then lit two vans in a car park underneath nearby Denewood House at 5am.

If you believe you know who is responsible for the fires or have any other information, you can call police on 101 or the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.If you see a fire in progress or anyone acting in a suspect way, you should call 999.