FIGURES released by Cleveland Fire Brigade show that incidents of arson over Easter cost local taxpayers over half a million pounds.
Between 28 March and 14 April, firefighters attended 279 deliberate small fires across the Cleveland area, the large majority of which were grass fires, costing a total of £549,630.
This announcement comes just weeks after the Brigade launched its latest campaign to stop arson when fire chiefs declared ‘Enough is Enough’.
Phil Lancaster, Director of Community Protection with Cleveland Fire Brigade said: “Overall, arson is falling significantly year on year, but it still accounts for 71% of fires.
“These latest figures over the Easter period demonstrate there is still much work to be done to tackle arson, and we are continuing to work closely with our partners and local communities to put a stop to it once and for all.
“Grass fires not only blight our landscape and harm our countryside; they also put the lives of residents, firefighters, visitors, and animals in danger.
Two areas in particular that suffered from grass fires included Eston Hills in Redcar & Cleveland and Summerhill Country Park in Hartlepool.
Mr Lancaster added: “As part of our ongoing arson campaign we will continue to work together with the Police and other key partner organisations to target resources into areas where deliberate fires are most prevalent.
“We are again asking members of our communities to say ‘Enough is Enough’ and call CrimeStoppers confidentially on 0800 555 111 or the Police on 101 if they have any information about incidents of arson or about the arsonists themselves.”
You can find out more information about the campaign, including a video to highlight the devastation caused by arson, by visiting our campaign page or by following the Brigade on Facebook (/clevelandfb) or Twitter (@clevelandfb).
To help keep you and your family safe from fire, the Brigade provides free Home Fire Safety Visits and will fit smoke alarms if needed. Call 01429 874063 to arrange a visit to your home and you will receive specific fire safety advice for you and your family.