Fire Service cracks down on arson!

Warwickshire County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service is cracking down on arson over the summer holidays with the roll out of their Anti-Social Behaviour Intervention Team (ASBIT).

The programme has been running for a number of years now and works at a very local level engaging face to face with young people known for setting small fires. To date, there has been a reduction of over 40% in arson related incidents across Warwickshire.  Derelict properties small

Thanks to funding from Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Philip Seccombe, the ASBIT Team will continue its great work this summer targeting known hotspot areas in Leamington, Warwick, Kenilworth, Southam, Stratford and Alcester.

The Bicycle Intervention Knowledge and Education teams and the Small Fires Unit will also be supporting the crackdown visiting high risk areas in the county.

Arson Reduction Officer for Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service, Rebecca Roberts says:

“We know where, when and who is involved with small fire setting, therefore our planning and positioning of crews ensures that face to face engagement and discussion enables those youngsters to see the dangers of fire setting.

“Our aim is to successfully redirect their energy into more positive activities, which will in turn reduce the number of small fires we are called to attend. This reduction will help also communities to feel safer and make sure that we are not wasting resources putting out small fires, when we could be needed at a life risk incident.”

Whilst some small fires are deliberate, accidental fires can also increase in the summer months; therefore extra care should be taken when using BBQ’s, discarding cigarettes or hot embers.” Bike Team 1small

Warwickshire County Council’s Portfolio Holder for Community Fire Safety, John Horner said:

“The ASBIT scheme has been running for a number of years now and has seen a huge reduction in arson related incidents. By working closely with communities and persistent fire setters, the officers involved in the scheme have shown just how successful face to face engagement and education can be. I hope that communities give the team their full support to help make their communities safer.”

Cllr Matt Western, Chair of the council’s Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee, added: “Arson is a crime and we will do everything we can to stop young people following the wrong path and endangering not only their lives, but the lives of Warwickshire residents. The ASBIT team have made a real impact on reducing arson in Warwickshire and I hope that continues throughout the summer holiday period.”

For more information on fire safety log onto http://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/safety-and-crime/fire-safety/arson-reduction