CLEVELAND Fire Brigade will be targeting the heart of local communities over the coming weeks in its latest bid to bring a halt to arson incidents.
Firefighters will have a major presence at the Langton Close Fun Day in Middlesbrough on Monday (7 April) when they will launch their Easter Arson Campaign. The Fun Day is held from 11am to 2pm.
Fire chiefs have chosen the area which lies within the Clairville Ward because it had the highest number of deliberate fires last Easter (15 compared to just one the previous Easter). The Clairville Ward also had the highest number of deliberate fires (109) of all wards in Middlesbrough during the last 12 months.
The free fun day is being organised by Erimus Housing which owns properties at Langton Close and the housing provider and the Brigade are keen to work together to do everything possible to stamp out arson and improve the lives of local people.
Phil Lancaster, Director of Community Protection with Cleveland Fire Brigade, said: “Arson still accounts for around seven out of ten fires across Cleveland and there will be no let-up in our efforts to stop it once and for all.
“Our ongoing campaign involves targeting hot-spot areas and we have chosen Langton Close for this year’s launch as we saw a major increase in deliberate fires last Easter. This will give us the opportunity to work closely with the local community, talk to local people about the devastating affect that arson has and encourage local people to report anyone who they suspect of arson.
“Arson ruins lives, communities and local businesses and our message is quite simple: Enough is enough. We are watching you and anyone who starts a deliberate fire is likely to be caught.”
Earlier this week Cleveland Fire Brigade and Cleveland Police unveiled a new protocol which involves working together using the latest technology in undertaking joint investigations to determine the causes of fires and who started them.
Lyndsey Coe, Neighbourhood Team Leader at Erimus Housing, said: “We are delighted to work together with Cleveland Fire Brigade and other key organisations to make local communities safer places to live.
“There are lots of activities during the Fun Day for children of all ages and families and we hope that local people do take the opportunity to come along and take advantage of what is on offer.
“We would also like people to give us their views on the day of how can best use the land at Langton Close for the benefit of the local community.”
At the event, the Fire Brigade will take along its multi-use games area; there will be chip pan fire demonstrations, a climbing wall, fire appliances plus much more.
The Brigade has also arranged a programme of diversionary activities for young people across the Cleveland area during the Easter school holiday period.
If anyone wishes to report any suspected arsonists confidentially they should call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. Alternatively, call the Police non emergency number 101.
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.