Appeal to parents to tackle arson

Bin FireParents are being urged to help tackle arson as Cleveland Fire Brigade clamps down on deliberate fires this Easter.

The appeal are comes after latest figures show that fire setters cost Cleveland £470,000 during the same holiday break last year when there nearly 300 incidents.

There was also a 10% increase in the number of deliberate fires during Easter 2015 compared to 2014.

Buildings, wheelie bins, rubbish and grasslands have all been targeted in recent years. Deliberate fires divert resources away from real emergencies where lives may be at risk

Phil Lancaster, Director of Community Protection at Cleveland Fire Brigade, said: “The clocks going forward and longer days can somehow tempt totally irresponsible behaviour that is blight on the community and can cause serious damage.

“We are urging parents to make sure they know where their youngsters are and to keep them out of trouble. The last thing you would want is your child to end up with a criminal record.

“We are working closely with the police and immediate action will be taken against anyone involved with deliberately starting a fire. Clearing up arson costs thousands of pounds and can take our firefighters away from vital life-saving protection work or attending real emergencies.

“Enough is enough. Arson will not be tolerated. We want everyone to enjoy the Easter break but to be responsible.”

During Easter 2015 there were 277 deliberate fires, a 10% increase on the Easter break in 2014 when there were 253 incidents.

For Easter 2015 (March 27 to April 13) there 90 incidents in Middlesbrough; 81 in Redcar and Cleveland, 69 in Stockton and 37 in Hartlepool.

Detective Chief Inspector Chris Downes, from Cleveland Police, said: “There is no excuse for deliberately setting fire to anything. Arsonists put lives in danger. Young people need to know that their actions could take someone’s life and it could ultimately cost them their freedom. I want people to enjoy the Easter break but also want parents to ensure that youngsters are being responsible and sensible.”

If anyone has any information about arson or anti-social behaviour in their area, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or the Police on 101.