North East Wales

Woman dies after car arson attack in Wrexham

The Orchards, Hightown, Wrexham
Image caption The incident happened on a street in the Hightown area of Wrexham

A woman has died in hospital after being taken ill following an arson attack on her car in Wrexham.

A post mortem examination is expected to be carried out on Friday into the death of Dorothy Dudley-Smith, 78, in Hightown early on Tuesday morning.

North Wales Police are unsure whether the incident is related to a spate of deliberate vehicle fires in Wrexham and are appealing for information.

A youth has been released on police bail pending further inquiries.

Senior investigating officer Det Ch Insp Mark Hughes said: "We can confirm that the woman taken ill after an incident at The Orchards in Wrexham on Tuesday morning has died at Wrexham Maelor Hospital.

"We are investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident prior to her being taken to hospital and are awaiting the results of a post mortem examination which is expected to take place later today."

Deliberate fires

Police say they have increased patrols around the neighbouring Caia Park area following a spate of car arson attacks.

Figures released by the fire service say 23 of 25 car fires in Caia Park have been started deliberately this year between 1 January and 4 November.

Their figures show there have been 300 deliberate fires in Wrexham county borough between 1 January and 31 October.

Ch Insp Alex Goss from North Wales Police said: "We are unsure whether this incident is linked to a recent spate of arsons in the area.

"High visibility patrols will continue in the area of Caia Park and I can reassure the community that we will not leave any stone unturned in pursuing those responsible."

Wrexham council said it was assisting the police.

Hugh Jones, the authority's lead member for communities, collaboration and partnerships, said: "This case is particularly concerning and I would urge anyone with information to come forward.

"Wrexham council and North Wales Police are working together to ensure the maximum resources are made available to apprehend the criminals responsible and provide reassurance to the communities involved.

"People have the right to feel safe in their own homes and it is imperative that those who are responsible are brought to justice."

North Wales Fire and Rescue Service asked people with any information to call police.

Arson reduction manager Kevin Jones said: "Deliberate fires are a serious form of anti-social behaviour."

He said there is "real concern" that a car fire could spread to a property which could have "devastating consequences".

Anyone with information is asked to call North Wales Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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