Kettering residents are being urged to keep an eye out after a spike in the number of deliberate fires being started in the town.
The Arson Task Force, a joint partnership between Northamptonshire Fire & Rescue Service and Northamptonshire Police, investigates incidents of deliberate fire starting. They have seen a significant increase in such fires being started, with 32 registered in the three months between August 2 and November 2 in Kettering.
In October alone there were 14 deliberate fires, with three of these affecting buildings used by the public. And a further four were reported on Tuesday evening (November 2), with three of those being within ten minutes of each other on Bertha Way, Dorothy Road and Stamford Road.
Kelly Crockett, an Arson Reduction Co-ordinator with the Arson Task Force, said: “We’ve had a lot of reports across different areas of Kettering, including around the Hight Street and the Grange Estate.
“These include incidents at the Gala Bingo Hall, Methodist Church and Cricket Pavilion within the last couple of months, while in the summer there was a lot of bin fires, hay bales and grass fires. Now we’re seeing smaller fires using things like wood and cardboard.
“These smaller fires in particular are becoming a regular occurrence and this is wasting both the time and resources of fire crews and Neighbourhood Policing Teams. Diverting fire crews to deliberately started fires also means they could potentially miss an emergency incident where a life may be at risk.
We have identified that all of these fires are youth related, some of which are currently being investigated further by Police. Deliberate fires also pose a very big risk to the person who started the fire, so young people are putting themselves in danger by doing this.
“We would encourage the public to report any incidents that they witness or may be aware of.”
If you see a deliberate fire being started or it is currently in progress, call 999 and ask for the Fire Service. If you have information following an incident of arson, then you can call FireStoppers anonymously on 0800 169 5558.