ARSONISTS torched an abandoned car which caused damaged to beloved beach huts.

The vehicle had been dumped in the Promenade Way car park in Brightlingsea last Saturday with more and more damage being done to it throughout the week.

Members of the Brightlingsea Beach Hut Association have reported the car to Tendring Council because of how close it was parked to the huts.

But the car was left in place and was set on fire on Sunday night.

The group’s patrol officer Sheila Crow said members had predicted it would end up causing damage.

She said: “I’m really so angry and I don’t know what to do.

“The car was taken down to the car park last week on November 4.

“It looks like the people were in it with the headlights on and continued what they were doing until the battery died.

“The car was then left there.

“Over the week it has been more and more damaged.

“We knew the next thing to happen would be it being set on fire.

“Then what do you know, on Sunday night into Monday morning it was burned out.

“The beach hut association has patrols going around there and have reported to Tendring Council there is a damaged car parked right next to three huts.

“We knew this would have happened but more should have been done.”

The fire caused minor damaged to two beach huts, but completely ruined another by burning off the rear.

Mrs Crow said: “One of them is completely ruined.

“The whole of the back of it is burned off.

“I contacted the person who owns it and she was in tears.

“They are the sort of thing which run in the family.

“Really they are only sheds but they are worth a lot of money and are very important to people.”

Mrs Crow called police to try and report the abandonment and vandalism and was told to report it online so a crime number could be issued.

She said: “There is no police in Brightlingsea.

“There is a growing amount of anti-social behaviour with things like this happening and we have had ten huts broken into in the last fortnight.

“When I was young there was a local copper who knew who the troublemakers were and where the hotspots were.

“That kind of thing has disappeared now.”

The council's communications manager Nigel Brown, said the council tried to contact the car owner.

He said: “We would normally give an owner the opportunity collect the vehicle before arranging to have it towed.

"Unfortunately the fire occurred before we were able to do so."