Help to beat the arsonists

Phil Lancaster
Phil Lancaster

FIRE chiefs are appealing to Hartlepool residents to help win the battle against arson by following safety advice over wheelie bins and rubbish.

Cleveland Fire Brigade says deliberate rubbish and bin fires can easily spread to people’s homes costing lives.

The brigade has issued new advice as part of its Stop Arson – Enough is Enough campaign.

Arson cases fell by almost a third last year but the service says it still accounts for 71 per cent of blazes and has cost the taxpayer £42 million over the last three years.

The brigade says they need the ongoing support of people to win the war against firestarters.

Lol Craven, Cleveland Fire Brigade’s arson task force manager, said: “The brigade works very closely with communities across Cleveland to prevent deliberate fires, but we need the continued support of local people to stop arson once and for all.

“Arson has reduced in recent years, which is extremely encouraging and the brigade will continue to work closely together with partner organisations and its communities to drive the figures down even further.”

Residents are advised to make sure not to leave wheelie bins and bin bags lying around and to put them out only on collection days.

Wheelie bins should also be kept in a secure place and hot ash should never be put inside.

And if you have old furniture to get rid of contact the council and keep it in a secure area in the meantime.

If you are using a skip, try to fill it and remove it on the same day or ask the skip company for a lockable lid.

Phil Lancaster, Cleveland Fire Brigade’s director of community protection, added: “The fire brigade, police and other key agencies have excellent links with local communities and we will continue our fight to stop arson.”

Last year, the Mail joined forces with the fire service, police and council for our Stamp It Out arson campaign.

Cases dropped by 40 per cent over the summer.

But the crime continues to cost Hartlepool £1.3m a year.