Warning issued for straw stacks as risk of arson attacks increases

PUBLISHED: 17:07 07 July 2014

Cambridgeshire fire are urging people to report hay stack fires

Cambridgeshire fire are urging people to report hay stack fires

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Police and fire services are urging people to report any suspicious activity around straw stacks in a bid to reduce the risk of arson attacks.

In the last year, the number of deliberate fires has increased with five more incidents occurring compared to 2012 and 2013.

Inspector Ian Ford said: “These fires cost businesses thousands of pounds and also cause huge disruption to rural communities and motorists.

“We are using a range of tactics, including the use of covert equipment, to identify and catch anyone committing this type of crime.

“But we also need people to report any suspicious activity around these stacks.

“Offenders face being arrested and put before the courts. However, there is also an important safety issue to consider. Those responsible are not only risking their own lives but potentially the lives of others.”

Arson liaison officer at Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service, Martin Boome, said: “A stack fire can tie up fire and police resources for several hours, which means people starting them deliberately are impacting on our response to other emergency calls.”

Local officers are working with the Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service, Cambridgeshire Countryside Watch and the National Farmers’ Union to launch investigations.

If you have any information regarding suspects or suspicious activities around straw stacks, please contact the police by calling 101, 999 in an emergency or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.

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