Operation to reduce the cost of anti-social fires

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CAMBS Fire and Rescue has teamed with police to crack down on anti-social behaviour leading to arson and hoax calls.

Last year (2009/10), the cost of anti-social behaviour in the county was an estimated £16 million.

Now Operation Armitage has been launched by officers from the Rural Community Action Team, Cambs Fire and Cambs Police.

Martin Boome, Arson Investigation Unit Officer, said: “The Fire Service takes a strong view about any kind of fire which is started deliberately - including stack fires.

“This type of fire has the potential to spread to property or kill not only those in the nearby vicinity, but also the arsonists themselves. These fires also tie up service resources that could be required to attend other life saving incidents.

“We are working closely with the police to reduce this type of fire and to bring offenders to justice.”

In the last quarter, two people were arrested and are on remand awaiting trial for arson with intent to endanger life and there have also been arrests following car fires in Fenland.

The launch of the operation follows the seasonal spate of arson attacks, including a stack fire which destroyed 100 tonnes of baled straw in Tydd St Giles.

Any suspicious activities around straw stacks should be reported to police on 0345-4564564 or you can contact Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800-555111 or at www.crimestoppers-uk.org