Fires, arrests overnight in Dunedin

Police have stepped up patrols in the student quarter after two couch fires on Castle St overnight and two arrests for disorderly behaviour.

A Fire Service communications spokesman said a fire on Castle St Nth between Howe St and Duke St in the ''middle of the road'' was being treated as suspicious as it was deliberately lit. A second fire ''just down the road'', 10 minutes later, was being treated the same way.

Willowbank firefighters extinguished both, going from one to the other, the spokesman said.

Police and Campus Watch assisted the firefighters.

Senior Sergeant Craig Dinnissen, of Dunedin, said police attended both fires in North Dunedin but no arrests were made in connection with the blazes.

However, two men were arrested for disorderly behaviour on Castle St.

A 19-year-old Dunedin man will appear in the Dunedin District Court charged with disorderly behaviour while the other, an 18-year-old Outram man, received a pre-charge warning.

Sen Sgt Dinnissen said there would be a larger police presence in North Dunedin during orientation week and it was a ''normal response''.

''It's just our normal response ... to stamp out any disorder,'' he said.

- rhys.chamberlain@odt.co.nz

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