Commissioner's statement following Chislehurst fire

10 June 2013

New Scotland Yard

Following the fire at the Darul Uloom School in Chislehurst, the Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said:

"These are difficult times for London's communities. The Met is now investigating suspicious fires at two locations within the Islamic community which have happened in the past few days. Fortunately no one has been hurt, but we know that fires can often prove fatal.

"We should not allow the murder of Lee Rigby to come between Londoners."

"So I want to reassure people that we are using our full range of policing tactics to protect sites that might be vulnerable. In all boroughs across London, there is an increased police presence around locations that might be at risk. We will maintain a 24/7 guard of uniformed officers at sites we consider to be at greatest risk.

"Detectives are working tirelessly to establish whether these fires were started deliberately, and if so, to catch those responsible.

"We should not allow the murder of Lee Rigby to come between Londoners. The unified response we have seen to his death across all communities will triumph over those who seek to divide us."

Four teenagers have been arrested in connection with the fire at the Darul Uloom School in Foxbury Avenue, Chislehurst.

The four males - two aged 17 [A/B] and two aged 18 [C/D] - were arrested on suspicion of arson late on Sunday night, 9 June and were taken into custody at a south London police station where they remain at this time.

The investigation by Bromley Borough officers to establish the full circumstances of the fire continues.

On Saturday, 8 June Emergency services were called to the school at around 23:50hrs.

The fire was extinguished shortly after the arrival of London Fire Brigade.

Two people were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation; but they did not require hospital treatment.

128 pupils and staff of the school were evacuated. They were able to go back into the school on the morning of Sunday, 9 June.

There was minor damage to the school building. The fire is being treated as suspicious.

Police are asking members of the public to remain calm and not to speculate as to the cause of the fire.

Anyone with information that may assist the investigation should call police on 101 or, to remain anonymous, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

There is an increased police presence around potentially vulnerable locations in the borough of Bromley and across London, including additional patrols to provide reassurance and deter crime.