Jailed: Forest Gate serial arsonist who started more than two dozen fires

Amer Fareed

Amer Fareed, of Sprowston Road, Newham, was jailed for three and a half years at Snaresbrook Crown Court on July 1 - Credit: Met Police

A serial arsonist who started fires in Forest Gate has been jailed following a police investigation.  

On Friday, July 1 Amer Fareed, of Sprowston Road, Newham, was jailed for three and a half years at Snaresbrook Crown Court.  

At an earlier hearing at the same court the 39-year-old pleaded guilty to eight counts of arson being reckless so as to endanger life, 17 counts of arson, two counts of possession of a Class B drug (cannabis), with three further counts of arson being taken into consideration.  

It comes after the London Fire Brigade (LFB) alerted the police in early April last year after they noticed an uncharacteristic rise in fires in Newham, particularly in the E7 area, dating back to February 2021.   

Fareed was first arrested as a suspect on April 18 in 2021 and he was charged with five offences the following day and was remanded in prison awaiting trial.  

Officers’ spent months working with the LFB and Crown Prosecution Service to secure further charges.  

Detectives carried out extensive CCTV and phone work to show Fareed’s movements over the months and to place him at the scene of the fires.  

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He was subsequently charged with an additional 25 offences on July 7 last year and convicted to the counts given at court on July 1 this year, where he was sentenced to three and a half years.  

Fareed started fires in the Forest Gate area in bins, skips, cars and shop fronts, which had flats above them. 

Some of the bins and skips were up against houses.  

CCTV footage

Fareed was caught on CCTV setting fire to a bin - Credit: Met Police

Detective Inspector Phil Moor, who led the investigation, said: “I am pleased that Fareed is now behind bars as it was only a matter of time before his reckless fire starting led to someone suffering serious harm, or worse. 

“I would like to recognise the exceptional work of Detective Constable Ravi Raja Rayan, who demonstrated excellent detective work when analysing large volumes of phone data, CCTV and other material. The overwhelming evidence we gathered against Fareed left him with no choice but to plead guilty.” 

Station commander at Stratford Fire Station, Chris Jenner, said: “This case is a great example of how working closely with our partners in the Metropolitan Police Service has helped to make people in Forest Gate safer. 

“From the quick thinking crews who raised concerns about the spate of fires they were seeing, to the work London Fire Brigade carried out alongside the Met, it was strong partnership working that ultimately led to this conviction. 

“Many of these fires could easily have put people’s lives at risk and we are pleased to have been able to play a role in bringing the person responsible to justice.”