Launch of deliberate fires consequences campaign at Blaenau Ffestiniog

Posted 23/03/2016 15:38:16

Staff from North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, North Wales Police and British Transport Police worked in partnership today to launch the deliberate fires awareness campaign in Ysgol y Moelwyn Blaenau Ffestiniog.

As part of the launch a new film was shown to students about the consequences of deliberate fires and the effect they can have on families and communities. The 'Still Laughing' short film is aimed at secondary school aged pupils and upwards. The theme is to encourage fire and potential fire starters to think about the consequences of deliberately starting grass and mountain fires and something that may seem like fun and a bit of a laugh can actually have devastating consequences for the fire setter themselves (criminal record), the wildfire, the landscape, the Welsh economy and most importantly it also means that Firefighters could be diverted from attending a real emergency - someone trapped in a house fire or a crashed car, where there is a potential risk to life.

As well as the two day multi-agency visit to the school this week the Arson Reduction team has organised visits to local Youth Clubs, visits to primary schools, Phoenix course in the area, an event on the High Street and will be taking part in joint patrols with North Wales Police around the town.

Stuart Millington, Senior Fire Safety Manager for North Wales Fire and Rescue Service said: This year, as with previous years, we refuse to tolerate the deliberate grass and mountain fires that lead to the destruction of the mountainside and wildlife across Wales, which can put lives at risk.

"By working with our partners on this hard hitting multi-agency campaign we are determined to make a change and make deliberate fire setting completely unacceptable to everyone in our communities - grass fires have consequences so they have to stop!."

Community Safety Inspector Julie Sheard commented: "Whilst fire officers are tending to reports of deliberate grass and mountain fires, there could be a person trapped in a house fire or involved in a serious vehicle collision who is in need of urgent assistance from the emergency services. Additionally, such fires often cause extensive and irreparable damage to the environment and kill local wildlife."

"Prevention, education and enforcement are at the heart of tackling this irresponsible behaviour and working closely with key partners to address the underlying issues behind this type of crime is crucial."

"Kevin Jones, Arson Reduction Team Manager added: This year the message is clear, if you set a grass fire, you are a criminal. One silly action can have serious consequences on a person's future. I urge parents, guardians, teachers and members of the public to look out for signs of suspicious behaviour such as smelling of smoke and accelerant, possession of matches and other behaviour that is suspicious and report any information to North Wales Police on 101.

The 'grass fires have consequences' communications approach is part of a wider multi-agency grass fire reduction strategy (Dawns Glaw) that has been developed by the three Fire and Rescue Services of Wales, with the support of their partners, to reduce the number of grass and mountain fires across Wales.  The wider strategy will focus on the communication, education, diversion and enforcement messages and initiatives that all partners will develop and implement according to their particular areas of focus.

 

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