No charges for Morecambe Ranch House fire

The former Ranch House pub in Morecambe set on fire on Friday night. Pic: Lancashire Police.
The former Ranch House pub in Morecambe set on fire on Friday night. Pic: Lancashire Police.

Investigations into a fire at a popular Morecambe pub have closed after teenagers were arrested and released without charge.

Police found there was not enough evidence to charge two teenagers who had been detained then bailed following the arson at the empty former Ranch House bar on July 1.

Meanwhile figures have revealed 407 incidents of arson have taken place in Morecambe and Lancaster over the past six years.

A Freedom of Information request submitted by The Visitor also reveals 31 people have been arrested following incidents of arson in the area since 2010. Of those arrests, the youngest was 13 and the oldest, 47. In 2010 82 arson crimes were reported, 52 in 2011, 81 in 2012, 48 in 2013, 46 in 2014, 69 in 2015 and 29 since May this year.

Police say they treat arson as a serious crime, especially when there is evidence of endangerment to life.

A Lancashire Police spokesman said: “Incidents of this nature can be difficult to investigate, due to fire damage to the scene and reduction of forensics, but other evidence such as CCTV, witness testimony and community intelligence are considered when looking at these incidents.

“We leave no stone unturned, as in any investigation. We also work closely with the fire service, liaising with specialised incident and intelligence fire investigation officers.”

Although figures show a decline in the number of arson reports, police said they work closely to help persistent or young offenders.

A police spokesman said: “We work closely with Lancashire Fire and Rescue who employ Community Fire Safety Practitioners, to refer young people who we believe could benefit from their work.

“Young offenders are dealt with through out of court disposals. Restorative justice is used to ensure victims a voice and offenders are aware of harm caused.”