THREE girls as young as 12 have been charged after allegedly torching a sporting shed in Armidale.
Police and fire crews were called to find the shed ablaze at Newling Park, near Kentucky St about 6pm on Wednesday.
When they arrived they found a sporting shed engulfed in flames.
Crime manager Detective Inspector Ann Joy said witnesses reported seeing three young girls running from the scene.
“There were a number of general duties and highway personnel assisting to locate them as well as members of our plain-clothes unit,” she said.
“After the assistance of a number of members of the public reporting a description of the persons involved, they were detected in that vicinity sometime after.”
Two girls, both aged 13, and a 12-year-old girl, were arrested at the scene.
All three have been charged with two counts of malicious damage by fire in company and one count of malicious damage to property,
surrounding allegations of graffiti-related offences in Armidale.
Both 13-year-old girls were refused bail by police and appeared in Armidale Children’s Bail Court yesterday where they were granted strict conditional bail to reappear in Armidale Children’s Court on October 24.
A 12-year-old girl was granted conditional bail by police and has been ordered to appear in the same court on November 7.
Detective Inspector Joy said fire crews extinguished the blaze.
“The shed itself was destroyed and it didn’t have anything significant in terms of contents,” she said.
But she said the arrests should serve as a warning.
“We just continue to target the offenders that are involved in these sort of incidents in conjunction with the community and the rural fire brigade and Fire and Rescue NSW,” she said.