Police investigating arson at famous Crooked House pub give update
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Police investigating a suspected arson attack at the Crooked House pub have given an update.
Two days later, Staffordshire Police told the media that they were treating the fire as arson and would be carrying out a full investigation.
“Our investigation into a fire at the Crooked House on Himley Road last Saturday continues as we try to understand the circumstances, which we are now treating as arson,” a spokesperson for Staffordshire Police said.
“This fire has shocked and upset so many given the, albeit not listed, cultural importance and heritage of the building.
“This is not lost on us and a robust investigation using all available information and forensic opportunities is being carried out.”
In a new update, Staffordshire Police has now said it is examining CCTV, forensics and witness accounts to try to get to the bottom of what happened.
The force said: "There has been considerable speculation circulating within communities and online which, while understandable, has been unhelpful.
"We are trying to provide accurate and timely updates, but as you can appreciate, there is significant work and liaison required with a number of partners which needs to be completed.
"All of this takes time. We appreciate your patience."
The force added: "We fully recognise the impact of the fire and later demolition of the building on the community, given the significance of this distinctive and popular attraction."
Leader of the council Roger Lees said: "At no point did the council agree the demolition of the whole structure nor was this deemed necessary.
"This council finds the manner in which the situation was managed following the fire completely unacceptable and contrary to instructions provided by our officers.
"As such, we are currently investigating potential breaches of both the Town and Country Planning Act and the Buildings Act.
"We are also liaising with many other relevant statutory bodies, including Historic England, the police and fire services, amongst others.
"These bodies will take the lead on investigating the issues surrounding the fire, safety of the unauthorised demolition and securing the ongoing safety of the site.
"Our own investigation is in its early stages and whilst it continues at pace, we ask for time to consider the facts thoroughly to ensure any future actions are meaningful and proportionate."