AN investigation has been launched after two former police stations in south Essex were hit by fires.

Essex Police detectives are appealing for witnesses and information to assist them as fires at the former Pitsea Police Station and former Tilbury Police Station are being probed.

In the first incident, a fire was discovered at a building in Howard Crescent, in Pitsea.

Thurrock Gazette: Fire - Former Pitsea Police StationFire - Former Pitsea Police Station (Image: Essex Fire)

Police were patrolling the area when they came upon the fire shortly after midnight on Wednesday, before alerting all emergency services.

The Pitsea Police Station closed in 2016 before being sold in 2021. Planning permission was then granted last year for it to be demolished and 22 flats to be built in its place.

Thurrock Gazette: Damage - Former Pitsea Police StationDamage - Former Pitsea Police Station (Image: Newsquest)

In the second incident, staff conducting a routine visit to Tilbury Police Station, in Civic Square, Tilbury, discovered a fire shortly before 2pm on the same day.

The building is currently non-operational and was unoccupied at the time.

Chief Supt Claire Talbot, who is leading the investigation, said: “Currently, we remain on scene at Tilbury Police Station whilst we carry out investigative enquiries.

"We are continuing to work closely with colleagues in Essex County Fire and Rescue Service to establish the cause of both fires.

“Although both fires caused damage to each of the buildings, we are grateful that no one has been injured as a result.

“Our investigations are at an early stage, but investigators are keeping an open mind as to whether the two incidents are linked.

“However, I’d appeal to the public to help us find who is responsible for both fires – any information they may have, could help us.

“I would ask anyone who was driving in the Pitsea and Tilbury areas at the relevant times to check their dash cam footage to see if they have captured anything that might help our investigation, to get in touch.”

A spokesman for Essex Police added: “Do you have any information?

“If you have any information, CCTV, dash cam or other footage in relation to either incident, then please get in contact with us.

“Please quote the following references when providing any information to make sure it gets to the right person as quickly as possible: Pitsea fire – crime reference 42/36213/24 and Tilbury fire – crime reference 42/36165/24.”