An Angus family say they are terrified to sleep at night after a van outside their home was set on fire – the third attack in two weeks.
It’s the third time in 16 days that the family, from Bogindollo near Forfar, has been targeted, with an axe thrown through Angus man Dale Smith’s car at the end of August before it was written off in a second attack just six days later.
Footage of the second attack on September 2 showed a man approaching the car with what appears to be a baseball bat, which is then used to smash the windows.
Now the family home has been targeted, as CCTV footage from a doorbell camera at the home of Dale’s mum, Christine Smith, captured the moment hooded thugs set Dale’s van on fire.
It shows a hooded figure arriving outside the family home in Bogindollo before looking at a number of cars.
The figure then goes out of view towards Dale’s van, and moments later a large flash and smoke can be seen.
The fire was started outside a converted garage where Dale and his five-year-old daughter were asleep.
After reporting the deliberate blaze, which was set at 3am on September 13, Christine said a police sergeant called the family to say no officers were available to attend the address.
The family have grown frustrated at what they see as a lack of action from Police Scotland in tracing those responsible.
Christine said: “I phoned them just after 3am, and they phoned me back to say they had no officers spare to come out.”
She added: “They asked if we had plastic gloves, which I wear for my work, and he asked if my husband could put two pairs on to collect the petrol can and anything else lying around.”
Her husband Derek Smith, 62, had caught the fire starters in the act, preventing a more extensive fire.
On the CCTV he can be seen running out of the house before giving chase to one of those responsible.
“We discovered the petrol can, which was on the bonnet of the van, was still half full,” Christine said.
“If we hadn’t stopped them, I dread to think what would have happened.”
As well as Dale’s daughter, Christine’s 93-year-old mother and several of her other grandchildren were sleeping in the home.
Christine said even if someone has a grievance against Dale, 31, this would not justify putting her home and family at risk.
“Even if they have got a grievance with Dale, why would they go this far?” she said.
“It’s not just Dale they are picking on now, this is our house.
“It’s my house and family they are putting at risk. It’s affecting the whole family.”
Christine said the family has been forced to install extra security.
“I don’t think we actually sleep,” she said.
“We’ve put on a new webcam that chimes if anybody comes in the area, but it picks up the birds and the rain.
“Whenever we hear the chime we run out the house.”
Police Scotland said inquiries into the incidents were ongoing.
Asked about the family being told to collect evidence, local area commander Chief Inspector Leanne Blacklaw said police were dealing with ongoing incidents.
“Officers received report of an attempted fireraising of a van in the Hillview area of Bogindollo around 3am on Sunday, 12 September, 2021.
It was assessed that there was no immediate threat to the occupants of the address
“With the information provided, it was assessed that there was no immediate threat to the occupants of the address or the address itself,” she said.
Chief Inspector Leanne Blacklaw added: “Local officers were dealing with other ongoing serious incidents, therefore the caller was given appropriate safety advice, which included moving the petrol can away from the vehicle to a safe place.
“The caller was given advice regarding forensic awareness in relation to the petrol can, in order to mitigate the loss of forensic opportunities, which may assist in the identification of the person(s) responsible, so they can be brought to justice.
“The caller was also asked to send private CCTV footage as soon as possible for it to be assessed by officers. A full safety plan was discussed and agreed with the caller.”
“Officers continue to conduct extensive enquiries, including reviewing private CCTV footage, following a number of recent incidents at the address.”