Car fires putting lives at risk

FIREFIGHTERS today claimed that lives have been put at risk as they have tackled more than one car fire a day across Suffolk since the start of July.There have been 27 car fires started deliberately across the county in less than a month, which includes four dumped in Orwell Country Park, in Gainsborough Lane in the last two weeks.

FIREFIGHTERS today claimed that lives have been put at risk as they have tackled more than one car fire a day across Suffolk since the start of July.

There have been 27 car fires started deliberately across the county in less than a month, which includes four dumped in Orwell Country Park, in Gainsborough Lane in the last two weeks.

Joanna Spicer, Suffolk County councillor for public protection, said that when firefighters are dealing with vehicle fires, they could be helping at real emergencies.

The council has been increasing its preventative work by assisting partners to remove a number of abandoned cars which are targeted by arsonists.


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Cllr Spicer said: “Car fires are a blight on our communities. Not only do they damage the environment and people's property, they also put people's lives at risk, including the fire fighters dealing with the incident. Every case of arson takes fire fighters away from dealing with other emergencies where people's lives may be at risk.

“I would urge anyone thinking of abandoning a car or dumping rubbish to think again.”

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Police and fire officers are currently investigating these latest incidents, which follows a spate of car fires in April.

A police spokeswoman said: “A lot of times the car is stolen and then set alight, so it is registered as theft rather than arson so the figures are probably higher. There have not been any arrests over these latest incidents.”

Richard Sharp, ranger of Orwell Country Park, said: “The car park is quite out the way up there plus there are no cameras and it is easy to run into the local estate so this has been an ongoing problem ever since I started here in 2002.

“It is very frustrating. We have to pay for the cost of tidying it up and taking it away. As the park ranger, I would like the cars to be tidied up as soon as possible but if it happens at the weekend, we have to wait till Monday.”

Anyone who wants to report an issue relating to arson can do so via the Arson Alert Number on 0800 555 111.

If you have seen any incidents of arson, call Suffolk Police on 01463 613500 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

Has your car been targeted by arsonists? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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