Police are appealing for witnesses after a suspected arson at a church in Watford on Saturday morning.

Police and firefighters went to Derby Road Baptist Church in central Watford to investigate the fire which caused substantial fire and smoke damage between 7am and 9am.

Detective Inspector Matt Phillips said: "Detectives are working closely at the scene with specialist investigators from Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service. Our initial enquiries lead us to believe this was started deliberately, however whilst the exact motivation is unclear, we do not believe this was religiously aggravated.

"We are keen to identify the person responsible and I would like to ask for the public’s help in our investigation.

"The church is situated on the busy ring road in Watford and I would appeal to anyone who may have seen any suspicious activity at the church this morning to call police as soon as possible."

Anyone with information is asked to contact Herts police non-emergency number 101. Alternatively call Crimestoppers, the independent charity, anonymously on 0800 555 111.