North Wales Police have issued a warning about the dangers of starting fires and the potential consequences, not just in preventing injury and damage, but also those involved could face a court appearance, after a fire was started deliberately on Bangor mountain.
Over this last weekend North Wales Police in north Gwynedd received four reports of fires being deliberately started and whilst no one was hurt both Police and Fire Service are eager to highlight the potential serious consequences.
On the evening of Thursday 18th April a gorse fire took place on Bangor mountain and a further one the following day on the outskirts of Llanllyfni accompanied by a car fire in Pont Y Crychddwr, Llanllyfni which are being treated as linked. During the early evening of Saturday 21st April a plastic bench at Bontnewydd Football Club was also set alight and three youths were seen running from the scene.
Fortunately the incidents were prevented from spreading thanks to prompt action by local officers and the intervention of the North Wales Fire and Rescue Service. Whilst not all of the incidents are believed linked the offenders actions still carry the same inherent dangers and Police are keen to stop this behaviour from going any further.
Inspector Doug Hughes at Caernarfon Police Station said “So far, and fortunately, no one has been injured and the damage to the gorse was not too serious but we are determined to ensure this doesn’t become a trend and that we educate our youngsters about the dangers of fire before someone is seriously hurt or worse. We have stepped up patrols and are asking the local community to inform us immediately if they see any suspicious behaviour.
“The message I’d like to get out is that fires are dangerous and can wreck lives as well as property so don’t get involved. Working together with the NWFRS and joint Arson Reduction Team we are appealing to anyone in the community who knows who is responsible for these incidents to make contact with us as soon as possible before someone is injured. Incidents like this could tie up the Emergency Services whose time is invariably needed elsewhere. If you have any information I’d ask you make contact with Police on 101 as soon as possible.”
Tim Owen, Arson Reduction Manager for North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Deliberate fire setting is completely unacceptable –as well as the associated monetary cost, these fires put extra pressure on our resources and can put the lives of the fire crews and the public at risk. Whilst crews are busy dealing with these incidents they would not be able to meet what may be a real need for them to attend a life threatening situation elsewhere
“Deliberate fire setting is a serious form of anti-social behaviour, and is a criminal offence – we are working alongside North Wales Police to stamp out the issue. As part of this work we are attending schools in the area to give consequences talks and have funded trips to our safety centre Dangerpoint in Flintshire.”
If you can assist this investigation please contact North Wales Police control room direct via web live chat http://www.north-wales.police.uk/contact/chat-support.aspx. Alternatively phone 101 or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.