Deliberate fires in borough cost fire4 chiefs £22m

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FIREFIGHTERS are launching a fresh drive to reduce deliberate fires after figures revealed £22 million was spent on arson cases in the last five years.

The figures show nearly 8,463 small fires, such as bin and grass fires, were deliberately started in Doncaster, tying up crews who could potentially be needed at life-threatening emergencies.

With the number of deliberate fires traditionally spiking as nights get lighter, South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue is working to raise awareness of the drain these fires can place on resources as well as the significant risk to life they can pose.

Steve Makepeace the fire service’s head of community safety, said: “Anti-social behaviour fires are a massive, costly problem. Small fires, such as grass and bin fires, are not harmless fun.

“They can quickly escalate, threatening life and property, as well as diverting firefighting resources from potentially more serious incidents.

“Diversionary activities and one-to-one engagement with young people have a proven track record of reducing incidents, but we also hope residents will help us by following the advice and reducing the risk to them and their property.”

* For full story see this week’s Free Press