Tackling Arson Together

Cleveland Fire Brigade is launching a campaign to tackle arson as the estimated costs to the local economy reached nearly £18m in 2018/19.

85% of fire calls to the Brigade are deliberate fires and they divert resources away from other emergencies and prevention activities.

The campaign launches today and will focus on how much deliberate fires are costing Cleveland communities and how we all need to work together to tackle deliberate fires – arson is everyone’s problem.

During the first week of the campaign the Brigade is organising the Tackling Arson Together Conference.  Aimed at senior leaders and decision-makers, from a range of partner organisations, such as local authorities, police, safety partnerships and other agencies involved in community cohesion and regeneration. 

It will examine the different aspects of arson and how we can work together to reduce deliberate fires and there effects on people, communities and the local economy.  It will also include the formal launch of Cleveland Fire Brigade’s Arson Reduction Strategy and Partnership Agreement.

The Tackling Arson Together campaign involves targeted social media and publicity campaigns and days of action in hot spot areas where crews and partner agencies offer safety advice to local residents. 

The Brigade hope the campaign will encourage communities to act and help us tackle arson by:

  • Putting wheelie bins out only on the day if collection and bring them in as soon as possible
  • Storing bins and refuse securely and away from property
  • Report issues such as fly-tipping in your area to www.fixmystreet.com
  • Report incidents anonymously to Crimestoppers 0800 555 111

Steve Johnson, Area manager, Prevention, Cleveland Fire Brigade said: “Cleveland has the highest rate of deliberate fires in the UK and we need to take immediate action to address.  We are calling on our communities to work with us; if we can eliminate sources of fuel then we can reduce fires.  It is also important to report anti-social behaviour which can lead to fire setting and escalate to other crimes. By taking a few simple steps, looking out for what is happening in your area and reporting any incidents we can all make a difference and keep our communities safe.”

Latest figures show there were 3,656 deliberate fires across Cleveland in 2018/19, costing the local communities £17.9m. The fires were predominately rubbish and refuse, grassland and vehicles.

The costs of deliberate fires include Brigade call-outs and attendance,  and costs to the wider community through damage, repairs, loss of business & productivity, insurance and council funding. (source Office of Deputy Prime Minister Economic Cost of Fire Estimates 2004 : adjusted to current day value)

Area Deliberate Fires 2018/19 Costs
Middlesbrough 1,172 £5.7m
Redcar and Cleveland 1,056 £4.8m
Stockton 801 £4.5m
Hartlepool 627 £2.9m