Fire Service joins campaign to tackle anti-social behaviour in Essex
Essex County Fire and Rescue Service (ECFRS) has joined a national campaign that is bringing together people and organisations from across the country to take a stand against anti-social behaviour (ASB) and make communities safer.
Running from Monday 19 July – Sunday 25 July ASB Awareness Week – Making Communities Safer aims to encourage communities to take a stand against ASB and highlight the options available to those facing it.
Organised by community safety specialists Resolve, ASB Awareness Week is being backed by the Home Office, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), Local Government Association (LGA), National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) and the National Fire Chiefs’ Council (NFCC).
As part of the week's activity, ECFRS is using data to identify where recent incidents have taken place that have seen anti-social behaviour result in the fire and rescue service being called out.
Group Manager James Taylor, ECFRS, said:
“When people think of anti-social behaviour their first thought will often be violence or police issues. For us, setting deliberate fires and driving dangerously impacts communities every bit as much, and can have devastating consequences for the people involved and those around them.
“Our fire crews could end up putting out these avoidable fires when they should be helping someone whose life may be in danger at a house fire or road traffic collision.
"As part of ASB Week we’ll be visiting known areas where incidents have taken place recently to talk to the communities about the risk and reassure those who have concerns.
"So far we've planed visits to Chelmsford, Basildon, Harlow and Abberton Reservoir. But rest assured, if an area you're concerned about isn't on the list this is part of our normal work and we'll always aim to visit locations that are at higher risk of anti-social behaviour or have recently seen growing issues."
Andre Turner, Arson Prevention Lead Officer at ECFRS, added:
"Last year, ECFRS was called to 4,390 outdoor fires; 1,247 of these fires were started deliberately and 849 were recorded as being possibly started deliberately.
“Early intervention is key, so we regularly visit schools to talk to children about arson. We also encourage parents to get in touch with our Juvenile Fire Setters Scheme, by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org, if they see their children showing fire setting behaviours.
"The lessons are also available on our website: www.essex-fire.gov.uk/education"
What you can do to reduce the risk of arson:
- Do not allow rubbish to build up around premises and clean up regularly
- If possible, restrict access to where waste is stored – keep temptation out of sight
- Try not to overfill bins and keep them securely shut
- Store bins away from buildings, where possible, to prevent the spread of fire
- For communal bin stores, keep doors shut and follow the property management instructions
- For properties with communal areas, e.g purpose built flats, keep these areas clear of rubbish and do not use this area to store anything – keep your exits clear
- Consider security lighting
- Locate skips away from your property and arrange collection as soon as it has been filled
- Ensure any debris and litter is removed from under trees and shrubs, particularly during dry periods
Communities can also help by being vigilant and keeping an eye out for any suspicious behaviour. If you spot anything that causes you concern, call the police.
Page last updated 16 July, 2021