We are asking members of the public to report suspicious activity at the earliest opportunity in our efforts to prevent arsons in the Grantham area.
We are also asking parents and carers to know where their children are, and to ensure they understand the consequences of setting deliberate fires. Over the last seven weeks, it’s thought there have been more than 25 deliberate fires set in various locations in the town, with fires set in wheelie bins, charity donation bins, and grassland, and an unused private garage. Areas include Dysart Park in Houghton Road, school playing fields, wooded area at Gleneagles, Trent Road, open fields in various areas, and Wyndham Park to name a few locations.
We believe these fires have been caused by groups of young people, who start a fire and then leave the area. Reckless fire setting, particularly in dry hot weather, has the potential to spread from where it was started, and poses a serious risk to people and property.
We have identified groups of young people who have been in the area of different incidents, and spoken directly with them and their parents. So far, the individuals responsible for setting the fires have yet to be identified.
Now, we need help from our community.
We are asking you to be on the look-out for groups of unsupervised young people gathering up paraphernalia such as straw, sticks or dried leaves, particularly in areas such as open parkland, or the working refuse areas of businesses.
If you see something that you think looks suspicious, please call 101 and report it. Always call 999 if you see a crime taking place.
Community Beat Manager Karl Cinavas, said: “The methods of fire starting, and types of fires have differed, but there are signs the public can be on the look-out for, and we would encourage everyone in the local community to be our eyes and ears so we can try and prevent further incidents. If these signs are spotted they can be reported to police so we can respond. Parents and carers also have a responsibility to know where their children and teens are when they go out, and to educate them about the risks and consequences of causing harm and damage in our communities.”
We are also asking for information, CCTV, dashcam, or mobile phone footage of any fires which could help us to identify the individual responsible for setting the fire at any of the incidents if you have witnessed any incidents taking place.
Dan Moss, Area Manager for prevention and protection at Lincs Fire and Rescue, added: “We are currently seeing more deliberate fires occurring in small pockets across the county. These incidents put a strain on fire and rescue resources, can easily escalate and cause serious damage, and mean we could be delayed getting to other incidents. We work with partners to take action against those who set fires deliberately, and this includes criminal convictions.”
If you have a child or young person who you worry is setting fires or has an unhealthy fascination with fire, you can refer them to our Firesetters Intervention Scheme. Visit www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/lfr for more information.