Farmer's plea after arsonists strike

A LEVINGTON farmer is today demanding police to do more to stop arson attacks on Suffolk farms.Adrian Lawson, of Rattlerow Farms Ltd, was speaking after arsonists set light to £10,000 of straw at Walk Farm today.

A LEVINGTON farmer is today demanding police to do more to stop arson attacks on Suffolk farms.

Adrian Lawson, of Rattlerow Farms Ltd, was speaking after arsonists set light to £10,000 of straw at Walk Farm today.

Police are treating the 200-ton stack fire as suspicious.

Mr Lawson said: “We are trying hard to run a business and arson is becoming an increasing problem.

“I would really like to call on the police to put more resources into surveillance and patrolling to catch whoever is doing this.”

Mr Lawson said his company rents lands for pigs at locations across the county. The straw was to be used for their bedding.

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He added: “Every year we have a fire like this. These stacks are becoming almost uninsurable. We had put a lot of work in baling it. We will just have to buy more straw.

“We get the money back from insurance but the premium are getting high and it is still a loss to the business.”

Mr Lawson said he was resigned to arsonists targeting straw stacks.

He added: “You cannot get angry. You just have to move on. The police need to monitor what's going on and catch these people.”

Police were called to the scene in a remote location 150 metres from Brightwell Road at about 4.20am.

Anne-Marie Breach, a spokeswoman for Suffolk police said investigations were under way and the police were liaising with Suffolk Fire Service to discover the cause of the blaze.

She added: “We are aware there have been a number of similar incidents recently. We are continuing to patrol the area.”

Miss Breach appealed to the public to play their part in helping the police.

She added: “We would ask the public to remain vigilant and to report any suspicious behaviour immediately by calling 999.”

Farmer Chris Mayhew, 49, of A.W. Mayhew Farms Ltd, which owns the land, said he suspected arsonists used a nearby bridleway to get access to the bales before making off.

He said: “The stack is 50m long and 10m wide and flames would have been about 60ft high. I would estimate it costs about £50 a ton.

“It is extremely annoying. Straw will have to be bought in and that is a stretch on resources.”

Firefighters were expected to remain at the scene damping down for several hours today as the remnants continue to smoulder.

Anyone with any information about the blaze should contact Felixstowe police on 01473 613500 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

Elsewhere, fire crews were called to a disused railway building in Wherstead Road, Ipswich, at 12.35am today.

The blaze, which a spokeswoman for Suffolk fire service described as “small”, was on the ground floor of a 50m by 50m two storey building.

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