Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) has joined forces with Crimestoppers to launch a new service for people to report information about deliberate fires anonymously.
The new service – FireStoppers – has been jointly funded by NFRS, Northamptonshire Police and the Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner. It will allow people to provide information via the telephone or online, without having to provide their name or other contact details, so that the emergency services can take appropriate action.
NFRS dealt with 714 deliberate fires across the county between April 2019 and April 2020, and 362 in just the last six months (up to October 2020).
The Arson Task Force works as part of the county’s Fire and Rescue Service to reduce deliberate fires in Northamptonshire, by identifying and responding to high risk individuals and communities.
Shaun Johnson from the Arson Task Force said: “A large proportion of deliberate fires do not often involve a victim; examples include setting discarded rubbish alight, grass fires and other minor fires. However, these fires are a strong indication of anti-social behaviour and can have a huge impact on communities.”
Northamptonshire Chief Fire Officer Darren Dovey said: “Our firefighters face different challenges every day, and having to deal with arson attacks places additional stress on the county’s emergency services, when our time could be better spent elsewhere.
“It is positive to see that other areas across the country have experienced considerable reductions in the number of deliberate fires since launching FireStoppers.
“Whether it’s wheelie bins being set on fire, or cars being burned out – deliberate fires scar our local environment and present risks to the life and health of those setting the fire and anyone in the vicinity. It is important that we do all that we can to help reduce the number of fires in our communities, to protect property and to protect lives.”
Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold said: “Anti-social behaviour is a major cause for concern in Northamptonshire and arsons are part of that bigger picture. That is why I am happy to jointly fund this new initiative for the county, in the hope that it reduces incidents of deliberate fires and our fire service is able to focus on other work to keep our communities safe.”
Anyone with information regarding an incident, who wants to remain 100% anonymous, can call FireStoppers on 0800 169 5558 or visit www.firestoppersreport.co.uk
Anyone who witnesses a fire in progress should call 999 immediately.