Warning over increased risk of arson attack

A wheelie bin damaged by arson.
A wheelie bin damaged by arson.

Residents and businesses are being advised on how to reduce the risk of arson.

As part of Arson Awareness Week – from March 18 to 24 – Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) are warning about the dangers of wheelie bin fires.

Officials are encouraging people to store bins away and only put them out on collection day.

Business are being advised not to store combustibles against buildings or allowing rubbish to accumulate.

Lynsey McVay, TWFRS Area Manager – Community Safety, said: “Arson is a blight to many communities and businesses. But there are some very simple things that we can all do to protect ourselves from arson.

“Arson is often associated with anti-social behaviour and we would always advise that if you have any concerns you should report them to Northumbria Police.”

TWFRS has produced a leaflet for businesses and offers support. It has also produced a series of videos which are available on their website and on their social media channels to help stop residents and businesses becoming the victims of arson.

Northumbria Police’s Chief Superintendent Janice Hutton said: “If you are deliberately setting fires in a public place then you are committing a criminal offence and will face police action.

“Fires can have devastating consequences and we have seen numerous cases where they have led to serious injury or even a loss of life.

“Our colleagues at Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service do an incredible job to educate young people about fire safety while also responding to calls for service.

“We will continue to support the amazing work they do but anyone who puts life at risk by setting an illegal fire should expect a visit from the police.”