OFFICERS are set to increase patrols near to an ex-police station yobs set fire to it in the latest in a long line of incidents.

The former police station, in John Kent Avenue, was targeted at about 6am on Monday.

It is believed the blaze was started deliberately and detectives have now launched an investigation.

An Essex Police spokeswoman said: "We were contacted at 6.25am on Monday, September 3 following reports that the former Shrub End police station in John Kent Avenue was on fire.

"It is believed the fire was started deliberately and detectives have now launched an investigation to catch those responsible.2

She added: "In the meantime we will be increasing our patrols of the area, using both highly visible and plain clothes officers, and are continuing to make enquiries locally about what happened.

"We would remind people that arson is not only extremely dangerous, and can cause risk to life, but it is also an extremely serious offence and will be treated as such by us and our criminal justice partners."

Anyone with information about the incident should contact Colchester CID on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.