Langwith fires causing concern among the emergency services

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Police and firefighters are joining forces to help reduce and prevent the number of deliberately started fires in the Langwith and Whaley Thorns area.

They are running a joint operation with Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service, who have had 26 reports of fires which have been started deliberately in the area since the start of the year.

Firefighters have been called out to tackle fires which have been started on rubbish discarded on waste ground, in wheelie bins or grass, and have often been near to people’s homes or gardens.

Police officers will be attending all incidents of this nature along fire crews and leaflets are being delivered to residents in Whaley Thorns.

The leaflets, produced by Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service, will advise people about the risks of dumping rubbish on waste ground and will encourage them to contact police with any information about the incidents.

Officers from both the police and fire service will also be visiting local youth clubs and schools to talk to young people about the potential consequences of making hoax calls, playing with fire and starting fires deliberately.

Youngsters will also be encouraged to take part in alternative activities which are being set up jointly by Derbyshire Fire and Rescue service and the parish council.

Acting Sgt Dan Saunby, of the Scarcliffe Safer Neighbourhood Policing Team, which covers Langwith and Whaley Thorns, said: “The consequences of deliberately starting a fire are serious, not only does it cause damage but it puts people’s safety at risk. We will be taking positive action against anyone found to be committing this offence.

“I would ask parents to ensure they are aware of their children’s activities, to make sure they are aware of the risks of messing with fire and for local residents to be aware and to contact us if they see anything suspicious or have any information about these incidents.”

The operation is set to take place long term and until both police officers and fire crews are satisfied the issue has reduced.

Group manager Steve Helps of Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “The impact on the local community and consequences for fire crews and partners, who have to deal with deliberate fires is significant. We will work with partners to ensure local communities are supported and those responsible for deliberate fire setting are identified and dealt with appropriately.”

Coun Brian Murray-Carr, chair of the Bolsover Community Safety Partnership said: “I fully support this initiative and the multi-agency approach that has been taken to address the issues of concern”.

Anyone with information about these incidents should contact Derbyshire police on 101, the non emergency number or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

People should always call 999 in an emergency, or if there is a direct threat to life or property or if a crime is in progress.