Fire service urges action against arson

Published: 19 Mar 2018

New figures from Hertfordshire County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service reveal that firefighters are called to an average of six deliberate fires a day.

Between April and October 2017, firefighters were called to 1,259 deliberate fires, with arsonists particularly targeting bins and discarded rubbish, as well as a number of fires started in woods and scrubland.

In response Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service is asking residents to keep an eye out for potential risks and take some simple steps to reduce the risk in their neighbourhoods:

• Keep bins secure and away from buildings
• Don’t let rubbish build up
• Report fly tipping
• Report any small fire
• Report abandoned vehicles
• Stop children from carrying or playing with matches and lighters
• Consider lighting and other security measures to protect property

Terry Hone, Cabinet Member for Community Safety, said: "Arson is extremely dangerous. It puts lives and property at risk. While our crews are dealing with arson incidents they are diverted away from other emergencies and community safety work. We ask all residents to be vigilant, and report any behaviour they are concerned about. Arson is a crime and we will work with the police to identify and prosecute the people responsible wherever possible.”

Nationally, 40% of fires in business premises are deliberately started and the cost of arson to the UK economy is estimated at £1.45bn.

Information about deliberately started fires can be reported anonymously through CrimeStoppers on 0800 555 111, and suspicious behaviour should be reported on the police non-emergency number 101.