News caia-arson-main

Last night Tan-Y-Bryn was subject to an arson attack on wheelie bins, plus a few hundred metres away a wooden children’s ‘hideout’ was set ablaze plus another bin. Overall the fire service had a busy time being called out four times – one being a malicious call which two appliances turned out to just incase at 8:40pm.

At 11:01pm fire crews were called to the wooden shelter (pictured) which took one appliance with one hose reel to put out, plus sorting out an adjacent tree that had caught fire.

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A view from the hideout, with a CCTV camera which could rotate to focus on it on the left hand side.

Just over eight minutes later a call came in that a metal bin was on fire nearby so the fire service attended, with the police, to deal with that incident.

At 11:27pm a call came in regarding a wheelie bin fire on Tan-Y-Bryn which took one hose reel to deal with.

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Fire services said around 40% of the structure was destroyed.

A local resident told how the the wheelie bin was situated between a house and a block of flats in close proximity to gas pipes.

Aside from the seriousness of the arson the response of the fire service was commented on by a local resident who got in touch with Wrexham.com saying “What is more alarming though is the revelation that the fire service could not find us. My son was at the bottom of Prince Charles Road waiting to direct them, eventually spotting them walking down the pathway leading from Harvard Way. He heard them on the radio saying they thought it was a hoax. By the time the fire service reached us we had pretty much extinguished the fire ourselves. If the fire had spread, the results could have been disastrous, possibly even fatal.”

We asked the fire service about this, and they have checked with the control logs telling us that the call came in at 23:27 (and 46 seconds!) and was tagged as responded to at 23:35 (and 28 seconds!) giving a response time of around eight minutes.

The design of the barriers, gates and fences in the area have also been criticised in terms of emergency response with the fire engine last night parking in the church yard and feeding a hose over a fence. The local resident told us “this was adequate for a small fire such as last night, I dread to think what would happen if there was a serious incident”.

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The inside of the ‘hideout’ was ruined.

As Wrexham.com readers will know, last nights incidents come in a long line of arson attacks affecting the Wrexham area and the Caia are in particular. The fire service has sent us further information on the stats, and what they are doing to combat it:

Arson accounts for just over 40% of all fires in North Wales – it is a criminal offence and, working alongside North Wales Police, we at North Wales Fire and Rescue Service take arson extremely seriously and work hard to tackle this issue. Residents can be reassured that we will do all we can to trace those responsible and ensure they are prosecuted accordingly.

The good news is that this figure has reduced year on year – thanks to the work of the North Wales Arson Reduction Team. Just six years ago arson accounted for 55% of all fires in North Wales.

The Arson Reduction Team is a joint initiative between North Wales Fire and Rescue Service and North Wales Police established to ensure all acts of arson are investigated and acted upon wherever possible.

The team’s main aims are to work closely with partners to help build stronger more sustainable communities, provide information and advice, provide education to children and young people, intervene early when anti social behaviour begins, provide diversionary activities and deter potential offenders, and to offer intervention programmes.

One of the team’s recent successes includes the reduction of arson incidents on Anglesey – securing a drop by 34% in the year up until April 2012 following concerted efforts with our partners to reduce malicious fires on the island.

This comes despite concerns that there would be an increase due to the difficult economic climate and is attributed to collaborative working which has allowed numerous agencies to innovatively support a reduction in deliberate fires. Local Authorities, CCTV monitoring, Area Crime and Disorder Groups, Wales Probation Service, Neighbourhood Police Teams and specialist fire investigators have all contributed to this success.

A whole variety of other projects across North Wales aimed at tackling the menace of arson are proving effective. The incidence of arson has reduced in almost all categories and this is very encouraging. Our efforts are set to continue with new initiatives such as School Watch, moveable CCTV cameras and other methods of deterrent or detection to assist us to reduce arson even further.

More advice on how you can work with us to protect yourself and your business from arson can be found on the North Wales Fire and Rescue Service’s bilingual website www.nwales-fireservice.org.uk .

We have an ongoing thread on our forums regarding arson, arson stats and wrexhamites giving their views on the topic. Click here to view and take part….