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Staffordshire fire chief "shocked" at arson attacks during fire strikes

By Staffordshire Newsletter  |  Posted: July 16, 2014

Staffordshire fire chief "shocked" at arson attacks during fire strikes

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Staffordshire’s fire chief says he is “shocked and dismayed” that people have been lighting fires deliberately during the national Fire Brigades Union strikes, when emergency cover in the county is reduced.

Arsonists struck six times around the county on Monday and Tuesday evenings, including at Littleworth, Stafford, starting small outdoor fires.

Chief Fire Officer Peter Dartford said: "It is very frustrating that at a time when fire cover is reduced that we have people thinking it is clever and fun to start deliberate blazes.

“While crews are attending these incidents it means that they are not immediately available to attend other incidents which could be life threatening.

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"I wonder what the people responsible would think if we were delayed attending an incident such as a house fire or car crash that involved one of their own family or friends because we were busy dealing with a fire that they had started”

Mr Dartford said it appeared that young people were responsible for starting some of the fires.

“We urge parents to explain the dangers and to know what their children are up to, particularly during these strike periods which are ongoing until next Monday," he added.

The service has launched a Flames Aren’t Games campaign ahead of the school summer holiday.

The initiative is now in its fourth year and aims to tackle antisocial behaviour which has traditionally seen an increase during the six-week break.

Since the hard-hitting scheme was rolled out, the number of small fires including grass and bin blazes has dropped significantly.

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