'Arson is a crime, it causes untold damage within communities': Cleveland Fire Brigade crackdown launched on deliberate fires

Fire chiefs are clamping down on arson attacks as part of a national campaign being launched next week.

Friday, 15th March 2019, 11:33 am
Updated Friday, 15th March 2019, 11:38 am
Cleveland Fire Brigade is continuing to clampdown on deliberately set fires as part of national Arson Awareness Week from March 18 to 22.
Cleveland Fire Brigade is continuing to clampdown on deliberately set fires as part of national Arson Awareness Week from March 18 to 22.

Cleveland Fire Brigade is continuing to clampdown on deliberately set fires as part of national Arson Awareness Week from March 18 to 22.

Steve Johnson, area manager, protection and prevention, said: “Arson is a crime, it causes untold damage within communities. It diverts resources away from where they are most needed.

"For the brigade this could be in terms of being unable to attend more serious emergencies, where lives may be at risk, it could be your friends or family who need help.

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"For our local authorities this means financial resources that are desperately needed to improve our local areas are being spent on repairing and replacing resources damaged by deliberate fires.”

Latest figures show they were just over 2,000 deliberate rubbish fires across the Cleveland Fire Brigade area in 2018 with nearly 250 wheelie bin fires.

Residents are reminded only to put bins out on the day of collection, bring them back in as soon as possible and keep them in a safe place to avoid them being a target for deliberate fires.

Firefighters have already been out about in Middlesbrough and Stockton knocking on doors, giving out fire safety stickers to go on bins and where appropriate advising on wheelie bin locks.

This action is being extended to the Manor Ward area of Hartlepool during Arson Awareness Week where fire crews along with partner agencies, will be issuing similar advice, removing rubbish and identifying empty or derelict buildings.

Steve added: “We will not tolerate arson. We are calling on everyone across our communities to say ‘Enough is Enough’ and not to accept these incidents as the ‘norm’.

"We all need to work together to take a pride in our areas and respect one each other’s property.

“We investigate all incidents and anyone can report an incident anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”