Arson needs tough action

EVERYONE knows that arson is a very dangerous crime, but today Suffolk fire service is highlighting a danger that may not be so obvious.Setting fire to a home with people inside can obviously put lives at risk - and it might seem to firebugs that setting alight a stolen car or dry heathland is not so dangerous.

EVERYONE knows that arson is a very dangerous crime, but today Suffolk fire service is highlighting a danger that may not be so obvious.

Setting fire to a home with people inside can obviously put lives at risk - and it might seem to firebugs that setting alight a stolen car or dry heathland is not so dangerous.

But while no one may be in immediate danger from such stupid pranks, they could pose another risk.

If firefighters have been called out to put out are car fire on the edge of Ravenswood or a rubbish skip on fire on an industrial estate, they cannot be ready to deal with any real emergency which arises.

And if there is a delay in reaching a house fire because the nearest available crew was out dealing with a deliberate blaze somewhere else, then the arsonists are responsible for putting lives at risk.

Last year arsonists were responsible for 219 deliberate fires in the county - each one of those put people's lives at risk, if only by taking firefighters away from their station when they could be needed in a real emergency.

Most Read

Some of the arson attacks caused very severe damage.

And some caused very serious disruption to lives - many pupils have had their education disrupted after their schools were set on fire.

Arson is a despicable and dangerous crime. It is one which now one can tolerate and society expects to be dealt with very firmly.

Producing a play focussing on the problem is one way of getting the message across. But potential arsonists must also get the message that such behaviour is unacceptable and will be punished severely.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter