Some 85% of Cleveland Fire Brigade’s fire calls are related to deliberate blazes – the highest in the country – and divert resources away from other emergencies where lives may be at risk.
Latest figures show there were nearly 4,000 deliberate fires in the brigade area in 2021.
Among problem areas identified across Hartlepool in a report released late last year were Mainsforth Terrace, Gulliver Road, Brus Tunnel and Crocus Gardens.
Helen Winskill, the brigade’s commissioned services manager, said: “We are looking for projects with innovative approaches to engaging with people who are setting fires or projects that reduce the opportunity for arsonists to start fires.
"We know where the fires are happening. We need your help to prevent them.
We encourage community groups to think outside the box and be creative.
“We are offering small grants and you can apply for any amount up to £3,000. We expect projects to be completed within 12 months of the grant being issued. Your application must tell us what you want to do and why you believe this approach will help us.
“The ideas will be targeted on hotspot areas across Cleveland and application packs will include full guidance notes and outline these areas. All projects will be evaluated to see if they have a positive impact on reducing deliberate fires.”
The Brigade has £15,000 available for grants. The projects can include diversionary activities for young people, new physical structures or cleaning up the local environment.
Applicants must fit in with at least one of the following criteria:
Reduce the number of incidents of arson;
Reduce the opportunity for people to deliberately set fires;
Reduce violence to fire brigade staff.
The Safer Hartlepool Partnership figures late last year revealed that there were 167 deliberate secondary fires recorded in Hartlepool from July to September.
That was a rise of just under 22% from 137 incidents during the same period in 2020.
For more information or an application pack please email [email protected] or download the documents from our website