A GANG of youths were spotted starting lighting fires in a quiet Southampton neighbourhood.

Teenagers were spotted lighting "mini fires" near the junctions of Hinkler Road and Tatwin Crescent.

The "group of five" was spotted setting light to patches of grass at around 9.15pm last night.

Jo Mains had been driving past with her sister and ten-year-old nephew when she noticed the group dressed in black.

She said: "I felt I had enough water in the bottle I had in my car to dampen or put out the fire as they were small enough at the time but could've gotten a lot bigger if left unnoticed.

A spokesperson for Hampshire police said: “We will not tolerate this kind of behaviour which is incredibly dangerous, particularly during the dry weather we have been experiencing.

"We work closely with our fire service colleagues around this issue and would encourage members of the public to report any incidents they see to us on 101 or via our website.”

According to Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, it was not alerted to the incident. 

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson said on the incident: 

“We urge the public to play their part in preventing fires from starting by reporting any information about illegal fire setting activities to our police colleagues. 

“We ask that you talk to young people about the dangers of playing with and lighting fires, and should you come across a fire, dial 999 and give an exact location, if possible by using What3Words.” 

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