Bonfire Night arson calls fall again

FIRE chiefs yesterday said that work in the community in the run up to Bonfire Night led to a fall in the number of deliberate fires around November 5 this year.

Crews traditionally see an increase in anti-social behaviour-related arson, but figures show there were 17 fires linked to anti-social behaviour last Saturday, compared to 25 in 2010 and 45 in 2009.

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Between November 4 and 6, fire crews dealt with 46 of the fires compared to 59 over the same period last year and 77 in 2009.

A community safety officer with South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue, Diane Malpass, said: “Our teams worked extremely hard in the run-up to the bonfire period and on the weekend itself to spread the fire safety message, so we are pleased that the number of call-outs remained low. Our prevention work this year involved a number of partner organisations, as well as firework retailers and supermarkets, and these figures show our collective efforts made a real difference.”

Retailers across the county voluntarily agreed not to sell matches and lighters to under-18s this year as part of the brigade’s Strike It Out campaign.