Spate of arson attacks continue in New Bilton

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HAVING already claimed numerous bins, the spate of arson attacks in New Bilton continued over the weekend.

In response, Rugby Borough council, in partnership with Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service and Warwickshire Police are urging residents in the New Bilton area to take greater care of their refuse facilities.

The alleyways serving some properties are dark and away from public view, making them prime targets for anti-social behaviour and arson.

To replace a wheelie bin costs the taxpayer £50 each, however, when a bin is set fire to, the costs substantially mount up; on fire service call outs, police investigations and, as has been proven in recent times, severe property damage, running the costs into the thousands.

Bins and refuse should be kept secure, not only to prevent fly tipping, but to also prevent damage being caused. Residents are urged to only place bins out for collection the night before, and return them to your gardens once this has been done.

PCSO Fran Carty, from Warwickshire Police said: “Some of the bins that have been targeted are communal so we urge people not to leave rubbish beside them or flowing over the sides.”

Rugby Borough Council’s Community Safety Wardens, Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service and Warwickshire Police will be visiting residents in the New Bilton area over the next few weeks to request that bins left out in the alleyway, are returned to within the boundary of their gardens.

By removing the primary targets, we can effectively tackle this ongoing issue.”

In response to the mounting small arson attacks around Warwickshire, April will see the Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service launching a new campaign to tackle small fires caused by such activity.

Cllr Richard Hobbs, Warwickshire County Council’s Portfolio Holder for Community Safety, said: “The launch of the Small Fires Unit is the next logical step, and Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service has taken this principle and moved it forwards by introducing a dedicated Small Fires Unit, which will become operational in the spring.

“This unit will have the capabilities to tackle small fires and ensures that our main fire appliances are still available to respond to other emergencies where life may be at threat and not otherwise occupied at a small fire.”

The vehicle has been designed by the Fire Service for the specialist role of tackling Small Fires and allowing engagement with people in local communities.

Chief Fire Officer Graeme Smith added: “It is far smaller than a main fire appliance and has 4x4 capabilities, which allows it to get to the right place at the right time. The vehicle also has a ‘fogging’ unit which is a new technique of fighting fires that uses minimal amounts of water to extinguish a fire safely and rapidly.”

Residents with any concerns for antisocial behaviour should contact Rugby Council’s Community Safety Wardens on 0800 096 88 00. Meanwhile, the investigation into the spate of Arson Attacks continues. If anyone has any information relating to these fires, they should contact Warwickshire Police on (01926) 415000.