Rise in fire-setting in Tayside an 'unacceptable' trend

Cases of deliberate fireraising have risen across the Tayside region, a trend branded “unacceptable” by the area’s senior firefighter.

Mark Dowie
Friday, 1st July 2022, 7:00am
Rise in fire-setting in Tayside an 'unacceptable' trend

During a nine-week window last summer, firefighters responded to 168 deliberate fires - up from 126 in 2020.

New figures released by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) show that firefighters attended the equivalent of more than two deliberate fires every day across the region.

These fires were largely comprised of outdoor incidents impacting grasslands and refuse, but also included building and vehicle fires.

Police in Forfar are currently investigating a case of fire-raising after a stable was apparently burned down deliberately.

Area Commander Scott Gibson, SFRS Local Senior Officer for Perth, Kinross, Angus and Dundee, said that while the service undertakes preventative work in communities, parents, carers and guardians still have their parts to play in driving home the message to youngsers.

He also said the call-outs interf ere with responses to genuine emergencies.

Speaking to mark the launch of the #SaferSummer campaign, Area Commander Gibson has urged everyone to help to reduce the risk of fire .

He said: “Deliberate fire-setting is as needless as it is unacceptable.

"We are proud of our educational and prevention work, but it is true that parents, carers, and members of the public can all help us here by engaging with young people and laying bare the costs and consequences of starting a fire.

"When a young person deliberately starts a fire, they are risking their safety, their future, and the welfare of others. Firefighters are also being dragged away from genuine emergencies.

"Our prevention work with Police Scotland and community wardens will continue across the region, but it goes without saying that we take deliberate fire-setting very seriously and will always work with our police partners to identify those responsible.”

The #SaferSummer campaign aims to raise awareness of the dangers of deliberate fire-setting and promote the need for holidaymakers and countryside users to remain safe this summer.

Advice on how to stay safe in the outdoors and preventing deliberate fire-setting can be found on the SFRS website.

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