Hartlepool community rallies to target allotment arsonists

Firefighters tackling a blaze at Chester Road allotments in Hartlepool on Sunday night. Pic: Mail reader John Riddle.

Firefighters tackling a blaze at Chester Road allotments in Hartlepool on Sunday night. Pic: Mail reader John Riddle.

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Emergency services and council chiefs are joining forces to target arson attacks on Hartlepool allotment sites.

It comes as a shed was torched by yobs in the latest suspected arson attack in Hartlepool.

Firefighters tackling a blaze at Chester Road allotments in Hartlepool on Sunday night. Pic: Mail reader John Riddle.

Firefighters tackling a blaze at Chester Road allotments in Hartlepool on Sunday night. Pic: Mail reader John Riddle.

The blaze broke out at Chester Road allotments at 7.20pm on Sunday.

Two engines from Hartlepool’s Stranton Fire Station were scrambled to the scene and spent 15 minutes tackling the fire in the shed which was burned to the ground.

The town’s allotments have been blighted by trouble in recent months and firefighters are now working with police and council officials to try and tackle the problem,

Ian Brown, watch manager at Stranton Fire Station, said: “There is a real problem at the minute with fires at certain allotment sites, especially at specific times of the week, mainly at weekends.

There is a real problem at the minute with fires at certain allotment sites.

Ian Brown, watch manger for Hartlepool Stranton

“We are currently liaising with the police and the council to come up with preventative measures to stop any further ones.”

During the early hours of May 15, 45 chickens were killed when a blaze spread across allotments at Thornhill Gardens, near Sacred Heart Primary School.

A number of rabbits were saved after firefighters tackled a fire which broke out at Rossmere allotments, off Brierton Lane, on May 18.

But two sheds, measuring around 20ft by 10ft and 13ft by 10ft were destroyed.

Firefighters tackling a blaze at Chester Road allotments in Hartlepool on Sunday night. Pic: Mail reader John Riddle.

Firefighters tackling a blaze at Chester Road allotments in Hartlepool on Sunday night. Pic: Mail reader John Riddle.

On July 16 three sheds and a caravan were torched at an allotment site at King Oswy Drive in the West View area.

As part of recent crack down into the number of fires a campaign called Operation Scarecrow was launched.

The scheme has seen police cadets receive training from Victim Services Officer Lorna Hilton from the Community Safety Team and they have been touring allotment sites to provide advice to tenants.

A spokesman for Cleveland Police said: “We have received reports of an allotment fire at Chester Road and we will be carrying out investigations.”