Last night, Tuesday 26th of February, people in Edinburgh were shocked to see a huge fire ablaze on Arthur’s Seat. Saddleworth Moor in West Yorkshire is still ablaze, also started yesterday, which is being described as ‘apocalyptic’. The cause of these fires is not yet known but many places have been going through a very dry period adding to the risk of fire.
All this comes as today the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) reveal that Scotland’s firefighters were called out to more than 1,800 deliberate fires in two-month period last year.
Between March and April 2018 SFRS crews dealt with a shocking 1,824 needless blazes – including 319 in the city of Glasgow, 128 in Edinburgh – and hundreds more across Scotland
David McGown, SFRS Deputy Chief Officer said :
“Make no mistake – fire can cause injury and death, it can be devastating to properties, businesses and the environment.
“The fact that our firefighters are called to thousands of deliberately set fires each year is completely unacceptable.
“Firefighters exist to protect their communities – yet they are still being put at risk by a small minority of people who continue to deliberately set fires.
“Deliberate fires are not only reckless and dangerous, but can also divert SFRS resources away from genuine emergencies where people require our help.”
The SFRS Spring campaign is #StampItOut – they will be working with Police Scotland to help to trace those risking the safety of communities.
David McGown said:
“Let me be very clear – we operate a strict zero tolerance approach to deliberate fire raising.
“This reckless and selfish behavior will not be tolerated, and we will continue to work very closely with our police and local authority partners to provide evidence that will ensure those responsible are identified and held to account.”
The 1,800+ deliberate fires involved building and vehicle fires, and also incidents involving outdoor areas such as fields, refuse, and countryside. Although the figure is high it is a reduction of 34% on the 2,782 deliberate fire calls that SFRS crews were called out to between the same period in 2017.
The free and confidential Crimestoppers helpline can be contacted on 0800 555 111 or through their website at www.crimestoppers-uk.org
Aberdeen City: 38
Aberdeenshire and Moray: 49
Argyll & Bute, East Dunbartonshire, West Dunbartonshire: 70
Dumfries and Galloway: 20
East Ayrshire, South Ayrshire, North Ayrshire: 217
East Lothian, Midlothian, Scottish Borders: 77
East Renfrewshire, Renfrewshire, Inverclyde: 156
Edinburgh City: 128
Falkirk, West Lothian: 135
Glasgow City: 319
Na H-Eileanan an Iar, Orkney Islands, Shetland Islands: 5
North Lanarkshire: 202
Perth & Kinross, Angus and Dundee City: 124
South Lanarkshire: 135
Stirling and Clackmannanshire: 29