A POLICE dog with a nose for crime helped arrest a man on suspicion of setting a family’s car on fire.

Police came across the blazing vehicle in Waldegrave Way, Lawford, shortly after 12.30am on Friday while they were attending another incident and believed it had been set on fire on purpose.

They were forced back by the flames but managed to check no one was inside.

Firefighters from Manningtree were then called to the scene and spent around 25 minutes putting out the fire and ensuring no houses nearby would be affected.

But the car was left severely damaged.

Police teams meanwhile launched a search to find the person suspected of starting the fire.

And police dog Vin proved to be the star player in tracking the suspect down.

An Essex Police spokesman said: “Vin put his nose to the ground and after a short while an adult male was arrested for arson.”

“Full credit to Vinnie who gets a sausage from Harwich B shift for his help.

“Thankfully no one was hurt, however a family has lost their car 24 days before Christmas.

“Working with fire crews and the highly trained police dog Vin has seen a safe and quick arrest.”

A 28-year-old man from Colchester was arrested on suspicion of arson and has been released under investigation.

The fire was out by 1.09am on Saturday, about half an hour after it had been discovered.

Essex County Fire and Rescue’s crew’s incident commander confirmed arson was the cause of the blaze.

A Waldegrave Way resident, who asked not to be named, said the fire happened just behind his home.

He said: “My wife and I were woken up during the night hearing the police sirens and fire engine.

“When I looked out the window I could see the whole of my garden was covered in smoke.

“It is unusual for this area to have crime and I hope nothing else happens.”

Essex Police Tendring shared details via their Facebook page with the post shared dozens of times.

More than 50 users commented sending their thoughts to the owner of the car and thanking Vin for his help with the incident.

Bev Burton’s comment said: “Well done all and well done police dog Vinnie.

“Sorry to hear someone has lost their car, but at least Vinnie was soon on the scene to capture the suspect.”

Anyone who witnessed any suspicious at the time of the incident should call PC Benjamin Peter at Harwich Local Policing Team on 101, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.