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Arson hotspot scheme to help reduce fire figures

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: April 17, 2014

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A HARD-hitting campaign could soon see firefighters highlighting arson hotspots in Burton – using an unusual new method.

Bosses at Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service are currently piloting a scheme which sees community safety officers and volunteers using a specially designed ‘Flames Aren’t Games’ stencil to mark areas that have historically been targeted by fire starters.

If the scheme helps to reduce the number of incidents, then fire chiefs are set to roll it out across the county during the next 12 months.

Thomas Osborne, community safety officer, said: “We are working hard to educate young people about the dangers posed by this type of antisocial behaviour.

“This pilot project will enable teenagers and members of the communities they live in to put the problem into perspective.

“We, along with our partners, will have a high profile presence in the area during the initiative, talking to people about what we are doing, why we are doing it and to offer information and advice.”

They will use spray paint to cover the cut-out so that residents can clearly see the extent of the problem in the district and work with the service to combat antisocial behaviour.

Local neighbourhoods will also receive a leaflet telling them about the innovative initiative and calling on them to support the service in its efforts to tackle such incidents, which can have potentially life-threatening consequences.

Crews dealt with 2,281 small fires – including grass and bin blazes – in 2013 and 3,505 in 2011.

The two years are considered comparable due to similar weather conditions.

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