Warning of life threatening risks associated with arson after spate of attacks in Stowmarket

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Fire chiefs have warned of the ‘untold misery’ and life-threatening risks associated with arson after a recent spate of attacks in the Stowmarket area.

Fire-fighters in Stowmarket have rushed to nearly 50 incidents in the past few months - the majority of which were started deliberately.

From September 26 to 30, there have been 11 deliberate fires such as in bins and open spaces, which on one occasion spread to nearby trees and a fence.

Mark Sanderson, deputy chief fire officer at Suffolk Fire and Rescue, said: “Arson is a crime and whilst arson activity is falling, we have recently seen an increase in Stowmarket and it causes untold misery to those it affects.

“It can also have a significant impact on local SFRS response with a delay in responding to other calls which may ultimately lead to the worst possibility in a person dying.”

On Friday night (October 2), Mid Suffolk Police notified on social media site Twitter that they were carrying out foot patrols to look out for any potential arsonists.

Ian Mallet, station commander and lead for community and prevention at Suffolk Fire and Rescue, added: “We are currently working together with Suffolk Police and safer neighbourhood teams on investigating the incidents, while also engaging local community groups and schools. We would like to take this opportunity to remind members of the public to remain vigilant and report suspicious activity to Suffolk Police.

“By working together nationally with the police, fire services and insurers we aim to reduce the level of arson but we need individuals and businesses to be aware of the risks and take steps to protect against this crime.”

- Earlier this week, Suffolk Police said three teenage boys, from Stowmarket, have been arrested in connection with a number of fires in the town between 10pm on September 25 and 5am on September 26.

The incidents saw trees and hedges set alight in Curwen Road, Walnut Tree Walk, Lowry Way, Constable Way, Violet Hill Road, Finborough Road and Recreation Road.

A 14-year-old and two 15-year-old boys were arrested on suspicion of arson and were bailed until Monday, November 23.