Stamping out deliberate fires during the Easter holidays

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The North Wales Arson Reduction Team is appealing to residents to help stamp out deliberate fire starting during the Easter holidays.

North Wales Fire and Rescue Service has been working hard to drive down the incidence of all deliberate fires over recent years - but as the nights get lighter and the weather becomes warmer, there is often a rise in the number of deliberately set fires.

During March and April the fire and rescue service still attends more call outs to deliberate fires than at any other time of the year.

Driving down deliberate fires has involved a concerted effort through a variety of initiatives including partnership working with other agencies such as through the work of the joint Arson Reduction Team with North Wales Police, youth engagement through the Phoenix Project, as well as a range of targeted safety campaigns.

Due to these efforts there has been a significant 68% reduction in deliberate fire setting in the last ten years and there has been a continuous downward trend during the last four years - with a substantial drop in the number of all deliberate fires attended: from 353 cases of deliberate fires between 1st March and 30th April in 2011, to 258 incidents in 2012, decreasing o 166 incidents in 2013, and more recently reducing again to 153 incidents in 2014.

Kevin Jones, Arson Reduction Manager said: "This continuous decrease is good news, we have been working tirelessly to tackle this issue over recent years and have seen a substantial drop in the number of incidents attended.

"But we rely on parents and members of the community to work with us to drive home the messages on the consequences of deliberate fires - so we are appealing to the community to help us ensure the numbers of deliberate fires are kept to a minimum over the Easter period when we know the numbers tend to peak.

"Deliberate fires place tremendous pressure on resources, with our crews tied up for a considerable length of time trying to bring them under control, which in turn delays firefighters from attending life threatening incidents.

"I would like to take this opportunity to appeal to parents to be more aware of the whereabouts of their children and impress upon them the important message that deliberate fires endanger lives.

"It could be you or a member of your family that requires our assistance and we may not be able to get to you as quickly or as easily as we would like because we have to deal with a deliberate fire."

Setting fires is a criminal offence and North Wales Fire and Rescue Service is actively working alongside North Wales Police to combat deliberate incidents.

Extra patrols over the holidays will be undertaken by North Wales Police in areas
which have had a number of deliberate fire-starting incidents in previous years.

You can follow our campaign to reduce deliberate fires on our social media by following #helpstopdeliberatefires and on our website www.nwales-fireservice.org.uk

Anyone with information on such crimes is advised to anonymously call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or contact 101.

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