Arson: Don't accept it, report it!

A large field of straw was deliberately set on fire in Wrockwardine, Telford

 

Everyone can play their part in tackling fire crime this Arson Awareness Week, says Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service and the Arson Prevention Forum. 

There have been 389 deliberate fires in Shropshire since April 1st last year down from 453 for the previous 12 months.

“Arson accounts for almost half of all fires attended by the fire and rescue services and can have devastating effects in terms of its cost and consequences,” says Lee Howell, the Forum’s Independent Chairman.

Insurers report that arson costs more than £1bn in fire related claims each year. Damage to property, business interruption and other inconvenience caused by arson is significant. Deliberate fires cost a vast amount of money but also endanger life, with a significant number of lives lost as a result. In 2014/15, 50 people died in fires that were started deliberately.  

“The Forum brings together those with a responsibility or interest in reducing arson and challenges them to do more. We have seen progress but there is still work to be done. This is where members of the public can help," said Lee.

Derek Taylor, from Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service's Prevention Department, said: “Arson is a significant drain on our resources and can put lives in danger, destroy buildings and be devastating. Arson must be reported.  If you see anyone setting a fire deliberately, "don't accept it, report it."

Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service are working with our partners at West Mercia Police, Shropshire Council and Telford and Wrekin Council to reduce the risk of Arson.

If you see fire-setting or suspicious activity, you should report it to the Police. Videos or photos from members of the public of any fires where suspicious activity is suspected, such as that at a recent fire and burglary at a charity shop in Yeovil, Somerset, are particularly useful to Police and Fire Arson Investigators. 

Arson destroys lives and costs over £1bn each and every year.  Even a small fire can lead to disaster.  Not tolerating these smaller fires can help prevent larger, more damaging fires being set in the future. Don’t accept it. Report it.

West Mercia Police non emergency number is 101

Crime Stoppers, an independent charity: 0800555111

21st March, 2016