Safest People, Safest Places

Arson campaign launched to tackle sharp rise in deliberate fires

Today, on the first day of National Arson Awareness Week, County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service (CDDFRS), Durham Constabulary and Durham County Council launch the ‘Enough Is Enough’ campaign aimed at tackling deliberate fires on the east coast.

Durham’s east coast area has seen a sharp increase of incidents of arson over the past 4 years, with deliberate fires that damage people’s property rising by 127% and grass and rubbish fires rising by 63%.

The areas seeing the biggest rise are Horden, Shotton Colliery and the Easington area. This has resulted in extensive damage not only to local residents’ cars and homes but also to the local area. CDDFRS, Durham Constabulary and Durham County Council are working with the community to tell those responsible ‘Enough Is Enough’.

The campaign will see firefighters, police and council staff out in the areas affected talking to local resident, listening to their concerns and working together to prevent this type of incident happening.

Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Dominic Brown, said: “We’ve deliberately launched the campaign to coincide with National Arson Awareness Week and the lead up to the Easter holidays, when traditionally we see a spike in deliberate fires. If our firefighters continue to deal with this volume of deliberate fires, it may delay their response to genuine emergencies.

This campaign is about harnessing the strong community spirit in these areas and letting residents know we are here to work with them to tackle these issues. Our message, is clear, the community and the authorities have had enough, and this has to stop.”

Jo Farrell, Deputy Chief Constable of Durham Constabulary, said: “Arson damages communities, it damages property but, above all, it puts people’s lives at risk.

“Our communities shouldn’t have to put up with that, which is why we are doing everything we can to deal with the problem and keep people safe.

“We will continue to work closely with the community and our partner agencies to tackle the issue, which is why the Enough Is Enough campaign is so important”.

Cllr Lucy Hovvels MBE, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for community safety, said: “We are looking forward to continuing the work we already do with partners to keep County Durham one of the safest places in the country to live, through ‘Enough is Enough.’

“Deliberately setting things on fire can put people in real danger while there is the potential for pollution.  Burnt out cars and other items also spoil the appearance of our beautiful county.

“We would appeal to residents and businesses to play their part in preventing arson by ensuring waste is disposed of correctly and that wheelie bins are not left in public places longer than is necessary.”

Anyone with information about this kind of criminality should call police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. 

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