Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) has a message for anyone thinking about starting fires deliberately in the county – ‘We’re watching you’.
In a bid to crackdown on acts of arson across Kent and Medway, the service has joined the national initiative, FireStoppers, inviting local people to join in the anonymous fight against deadly fire setting.
FireStoppers encourages residents to share intelligence about people they suspect are responsible for incidents of arson, anonymously, 24/7, 365 days a year.
As part of the initiative, areas identified as arson hotspots will be honed in on by KFRS, with signage and targeted social media campaigning used to educate and deter arsonists, or those considering setting fires.
In the last five years, crews have attended 8,988 deliberate fires, involving buildings, vehicles and outdoor areas.
Colin King, Assistant Director for Customer Engagement and Safety, said: “Not only do arsonists put their lives and the lives of others at risk, but they take firefighters away from other emergencies unnecessarily. It’s a criminal offence to start a fire deliberately, and we want arsonists to know that the fire service, together with the residents of Kent and Medway, are watching and will report them.
“By joining FireStoppers, we hope members of the public can help us to reduce the number of deliberate fire incidents, by sharing valuable information completely anonymously.
“The reporting service is available both online and over the phone, and is free to use at all times of the day, all-year round.
“Ongoing emergencies should still be reported by calling 999.”
It’s a criminal offence when someone intentionally starts a fire in order to destroy or damage something, whether that’s a building, or outdoor areas such as grasslands and woodlands.
Call FireStoppers on 0800 169 5558 or report online – it’s always free and always anonymous.