UPDATE: Man found on cliff by police dog and Coastguard helicopter is arrested

A coastguard helicopter in flight earlier this year
A coastguard helicopter in flight earlier this year

A man has been arrested on suspicion of arson after some stairs were set alight at a beach.

Two Coastguard rescue teams, a helicopter, police officers and a dog team were dispatched following a call from a concerned member of the public, police say.

Coastguard rescue teams from Eastbourne and Birling Gap were called out, along with a Coastguard helicopter, yesterday evening amid concerns for the safety of man at Cow Gap.

However the Coastguard passed the matter over to police at 5.45pm, reporting that a ‘male was acting erratically’, according to a spokesperson for Sussex Police.

Officers and a dog unit were dispatched to the area between Cow Gap and Beachy Head, meeting up with the Coastguard.

A spokesperson for Sussex Police said: “Once on scene it was apparent the male had set alight to some stairs.

“The Coastguard led officers to where male had taken cover. With assistance of the dog unit they arrested the male.”

The dog found a man in the bushes, police say, and he was arrested on suspicion of arson. The man was then taken into custody.

The matter is being investigated by Eastbourne Investigations Team. Anyone with any information should contact Acting Sergeant Atfield by calling 101.

Inspector Yates would like to thank the Coastguard and fire service for their prompt attendance and efforts during the incident, the police spokesperson added.

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