Arson crackdown launched across Cambridgeshire as shed and caravan targeted

A SHED and caravan were targeted by arsonists at the weekend as a crackdown was being rolled out across Cambridgeshire.

The Cambridgeshire Arson Partnership has brought together the fire service, police, housing associations and other agencies to tackle arsonists.

And following a successful piloting of an arson investigation unit in Peterborough - led by fire officer Martin Boome - the scheme is set to go countywide.

The number of arsons in Peterborough more than halved in the city from 662 to 313 from 2009/10 to 2010/11 in a system which allows Mr Boome to access police crime files. Firefighters also complete a form following arsons to help with any criminal investigations.

As part of the crackdown posters will be displayed at straw stacks and covert CCTV will be set up to catch arsonists.

However, as the news was being announced arsonists set alight a shed in Wisbech’s Waterlees Road on Saturday and a caravan in Tydd St Giles later the same day.

Firefighters arrived at the shed fire at 2.25pm and used two hose reels to extinguish the blaze. They returned to their station by 3.10pm.

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At 11.20pm, two crews from Wisbech were called to a caravan on fire at Cross Drove in Tydd St Giles.

The owner was able to get horses to safety in a nearby stable and the blaze was extinguished by 12.50am with firefighters using two hose reels.

Mr Boome, who who works alongside police officers at the force’s Chord Park offices in Godmanchester, said agencies working together more closely had led to more prosecutions.

He said: “Our aim, first and foremost, is to prosecute people responsible for arson, as this acts as a deterrent to others.

“In the past, firefighters may have seen something important at a scene and it would get forgotten but now it gets recorded and could become evidence.”

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