COMMUNITES have been urged to help clamp down on arson incidents as Cleveland Fire Brigade announces a crackdown in the run up to the Easter holidays and the lighter nights.

Last year, the fire service dealt with nearly 1,000 incidents in just five weeks from the end of March to the end of April.

Middlesbrough reported the highest number of deliberate incidents (362) with the Redcar and Cleveland area also reporting 291.

In Stockton, 171 incident were reported in the Easter period last year, while 161 were reported in Hartlepool, meaning 985 were reported across Teesside in total. 

This Easter, the hotspot areas of Redcar and Cleveland and Middlesbrough will be targeted alongside Stockton and Hartlepool, in a digital advertising campaign and posters on bus shelters.

Read more: Thornaby farm blaze investigated after flames could be seen for miles around

Craig Strike, Head of prevention and engagement, said: “We are appealing for everyone to be vigilant, report any incidents and take extra care as we try and stop the minority who are intent on anti-social behaviour and diverting our resources away from real emergencies where lives may be at risk.”

“We can all take steps to reduce the opportunities for deliberate fires. These include putting wheelie bins out only on the day of collection and bringing them back in as quickly as possible, storing any bins or rubbish well away from property and reporting fly-tipping.”

“By taking these few simple steps, looking out for what is happening in your area, we can all make a difference and keep our communities safe.”

Up to 85 per cent of fire calls are deliberate fires with the main targets being rubbish, grasslands and vehicles.

Deliberate Fires by District between March 25 and April 29 2021:

  • Redcar & Cleveland - 291
  • Middlesbrough - 362
  • Stockton - 171
  • Hartlepool - 161

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