POLICE are warning riders to be on their guard after the second blaze at a stables this week.
A stable door was set on fire in John Street, Fence Houses, last night.
It’s believed the fire was started deliberately and the incident is being treated as arson.
It came after five horses were killed in a blaze at Cox Green in Penshaw. Enquiries are ongoing to establish if the cause of the fire was deliberate.
At this stage there is nothing to suggest the incidents are linked, however, police are asking stable owners to be vigilant as a precaution.
Neighbourhood officers are carrying out regular patrols in rural areas of Houghton to offer reassurance to stable and farm owners.
Neighbourhood Inspector Lisa Musgrove said: “While at this stage there is nothing to connect these two incidents, we recognise that stable and farm owners may be concerned and would like to offer our reassurance to them that extra patrols will be carried out in our rural areas.
“We would ask people to be extra vigilant and report any suspicious activity to us, if they see anything that seems out of the ordinary or people who seem to be hanging around unnecessarily we would urge them to get in contact with us. It may be they have a genuine reason, but if we’re aware we can attend and establish this.
“We’re appealing for witnesses into the fire at the stables in Fence Houses and would urge anyone who has information they think can help with our enquiries to get in contact with us.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact Northumbria Police on 101 ext 69191 quoting reference 1331 230415 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.