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Appeal to stamp out deliberate fires


North Wales'Arson Reduction Teamis appealing to residents to help them stamp out deliberate firestarting after crews were called to six deliberate grass fires yesterday afternoon and overnight.


Firefighters were called to grass fires in Blaenau Ffestiniog, Deeside, Abersoch, Llangollen, Porthmadog and Rhyl between 15.14hrs yesterday (Monday) and 01.48 yrs this morning (Tuesday). The incidents were all started deliberately.


This follows on from 15 deliberate fires, including grass, building and car fires over the weekend in locations across the region includingBangor, Wrexham,Greenfield, Abergele, Deeside, Bagillt, Holywell and Mold.


Kevin Jones, Arson Reduction Manager said: "As the nights get lighter and the weather becomes warmer, we often see a rise in the number of deliberately set fires. However, we have been working tirelessly to tackle this issue over recent years and have seen a substantial drop in the number of incidents attended.


"We rely on parents and members of the community to work with us to drive home the messages on the consequences of deliberate fires - so we are appealing to the community to help ensure that the number of deliberate fires are kept to a minimum. This high number of incidents over recent days shows that there are still deliberate firestarters in our community - with warm weather forecast, its vital that we all try and do our bit to stamp out deliberate fires."


From 1st March - 30th April 2011, North Wales Fire and Rescue Service attended 252 deliberate fires across the region. This has fallen year on year, with 176 incidents during the same period in 2012 and 95 in 2013. Between 1st March -14th April 2014, the Service has attended 56 deliberate fires.


TheArson Reduction Teamwill be using Facebook advertising during the Easter holidays, targeting parents living in the deliberate fire hotspots of Holyhead and Wrexham. Messages appealing to those parents to be aware of the whereabouts of their children and talk to them about the consequences of fire will appear on the newsfeeds of Facebook users in the target areas.


In addition to this, extra patrols over the holidays will be undertaken by North Wales Police in Rhyl, Colwyn Bay, Porthmadog and Holywell - areas which had a number of deliberate firestarting incidents last Easter.



Kevin continued: "I would like to take this opportunity to appeal to parents to be aware of the whereabouts of their children and impress upon them the message that deliberate fires endanger lives.


"Deliberate fires place tremendous pressure on resources, with our crews tied up for a considerable length of time trying to bring them under control which prevents them from attending life threatening incidents.


"Remember - setting fires is a criminal offence and we are actively working alongside North Wales Police to combat deliberate incidents, employing the police helicopter to pinpoint the fires and to look out for perpetrators.

"Anyone with information on such crimes is advised to anonymously call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."

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