Rise in deliberate fires in Dundee

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The latest figures from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service quarterly performance report have been presented before councillors in Dundee.

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AN increase in deliberate fires has been linked to anti-social behaviour in Dundee.

Latest figures reveal some 185 such incidents occurred between January and March this year – up on the same period last year when the figure stood at 139.

Of this, a total of 166 were secondary fires involving refuse, grassland and wheelie bins being set alight.

Firefighters continue to work closely with communities and partners - such as the Dundee Community Safety Partnership - to address the issue.

This included a safety leaflet drop to around 2000 residents and the removal of a large amount of scrubland near Braeview Academy.

Local Senior Officer for Dundee, Colin Grieve, said: “Deliberately set fires are not only reckless and dangerous but can divert SFRS resources away from genuine emergencies.

“However, through robust and flexible strategic planning, our crews are always ready to respond to any incident to keep our communities safe.

“We continue to work closely alongside key partners to reduce the number of deliberate fires with suspected links to anti-social behaviour.

“Preventing these incidents from occurring in the first place is our main aim and as such we continue to engage with local schools and youth groups to highlight the risks.”

The statistics for January to March 2017 were submitted in a report brought before Dundee City Council on Monday, June 12.

It also noted seven casualties and zero fatalities were recorded as a result of fire during the period – a significant decrease on the previous year when the figure stood at 29.

This is being linked to the number of Home Fire Safety Visits (HFSVs) carried out by local firefighters and ongoing efforts with partners to identify people most at risk to the effects of fire.

LSO Grieve continued: “It is pleasing to note that fewer people were injured by fire in the city. The majority of these incidents occurred as a result of cooking, which is why we regularly remind people never to leave the kitchen unattended whilst cooking.

“House fires can be devastating. We don’t want anyone to be involved in such incidents and believe prevention is the best form of defence.

“Our firefighters can visit your home to identify any hazards and will also assist in developing an escape plan as well as supply and install smoke detectors for free.”

If you want to book a Home Fire Safety Visit then call the SFRS on the freephone number 0800 073 1999, by texting ‘FIRE’ to 80800 or by filling in a form at www.firescotland.gov.uk