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Police and fire service warn about deliberate fires

Wednesday, 21st April 2010.

Following a number of deliberately set fires, Suffolk fire and rescue service and Suffolk police have joined forces to warn people about the dangers of starting fires.

The warning follows concerns that people are deliberately setting fires to playing fields and other areas of grassland in the county.

There have been a some incidents in the Haverhill area in the past few weeks of Fire crews being called out to deal with burning rubbish,verges or trees.

Eddie Meelan, Suffolk's assistant chief fire officer, warned that deliberately starting fires could have catastrophic consequences.

He said: “Starting fires in open areas damages the heathland and can injure wildlife. If a fire gets out of control in a well-populated area, people could be trapped and injured.

“Attending a fire which has been started deliberately also means that fire crews are sent to deal with this rather than attending an incident where life could potentially be in danger.”

Chief Insp Kerry Pauling, who is in charge of community safety for Suffolk police, said: "Fire can cause a great deal of damage, both financially and to the community, and put the lives of the people who set them and others in danger.

"Deliberately setting a fire is a criminal offence, and anyone found to be doing this will be firmly dealt with.

"In recent years a small number of fires started by young people have damaged or destroyed schools in Suffolk, and those responsible have been given custodial sentences by the courts.

"In partnership with Suffolk Fire Service officers regularly work with young people through schools and youth projects to educate them about the dangers of starting fires.

"Safer Neighbourhood Teams across the county will be involved in initiatives this summer to provide positive, fun activities for young people to take part in during the holidays."

If you know of someone who is deliberately starting a fire call Suffolk Police on 01473 613500 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

* Police are appealing for information following a fire at the cemetery chapel in Church Lane, Clare, which destroyed the building and cleaning equipment stored within, in total valued at £167,000.

It happened between 3.40am and 5.40am on Sunday.
Anyone with any information can call PC Rebecca Gardiner at Haverhill Police on 01284 774100 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Haverhill Online News

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