Firefighters across South Yorkshire are asking the public to help them crack down on deliberate fires across the county, by reporting incident details to a dedicated new fire line.
In response to the 3,900 deliberate fire incidents they were called to last year, South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue has joined up with an arm of the national charity, Crimestoppers. FireStoppers, which works in the same way as Crimestoppers, allows the public to anonymously report any information they have on deliberate fire-setting.
This can be done by calling a dedicated phone number, 0800 169 5558, or by using an online form – www.firestoppersreport.co.uk. Once reported, the details will be anonymised and used as part of fire and police investigations.
The service says it hopes the new initiative will help reduce call-outs, protect public property and keep people safe – as well as having environmental benefits too.
“We’ve made great strides in terms of reducing house fires over the last 10 years, but nearly 4,000 deliberate fires in one year is 4,000 too many,” said Group Manager Matt Gillatt, deputy head of the joint police and fire community safety team.
“We want to show people that we are taking this issue seriously and we also felt we needed to provide people a safe, anonymous route to report details of arson attacks to us. Other fire services across the country have successfully reduced deliberate fire setting by up to 20 percent through this service, and we’re hoping it will have a positive impact here. Our ask of the public is simple – if you know anything about deliberate fire-setting in your area then please report it via the FireStoppers line and help us crack down on these fires.”
This latest fire service campaign comes after firefighters were called out to 3945 deliberate fires across South Yorkshire last year.
Figures show that Doncaster was the worst hit area, with 1116, followed by Rotherham with 1053, Barnsley with 989 and Sheffield with 787.