Police identify young Carlisle arsonists plaguing city estate
Police have identified a number of youths linked to a string of rubbish fires, as firefighters call for them to stop wasting valuable resources.
The teenagers linked to antisocial behaviour in Raffles, Carlisle, have been spoken to by officers and warned of the dangers of their actions.
Paul Dean, watch manager of Carlisle West Fire Station, spoke to theabout a spate of deliberate rubbish fires in that area of the city.
He said these preventable incidents put strain on the service.
"We have had six in March. It's too many really. It definitely detracts from our main cause," he said.
"We had the large chicken shed fire at Little Orton at the same time we had a house fire at at Dalesman Drive.
"These little fires are wasting valuable resources that may be needed elsewhere."
While none of the rubbish fires occurred at the time of the incidents - a fire which killed 16,000 chicken in a shed at Little Orton and a house fire at Dalesman Drive, near Carleton, complicated by a gas leak, last Sunday - Mr Dean stressed if they had, it would have taken out one of the first crews to response to either of the two incidents.
"There are two regular crews in Carlisle and if they're tied up with a small rubbish fire the next vehicle is at either Brampton, Longtown or Wigton. It's five minutes to turn into the station then travel time, which could be 20 minutes, which is a delay we don't need really," he said.
"We will always go to a fire because that is our purpose, but just a little deliberate one is detracting us from protecting the public.
"It's wasting police resources as well, because they turnout to assist us."
In the Raffles area of the city there have been 16 incidents in the last 12 months, but almost a third of those since the start of March.
The latest were on Monday and Tuesday evening this week in Dalton Avenue and Raffles Avenue. Crews, who can spend between 10 and 20 minutes at a job like this, used a hose reel to extinguish both fires.
A spokesman for Cumbria Police said: "This issue of youth antisocial behaviour in the Raffles area is one we are well aware of and have been putting resources into tackling in recent weeks.
"This week officers were able to respond swiftly to a report of an alleged arson incident carried out by youths. As a result of the quick response a number of youths were identified.
"They were spoken to, their parents were spoken to and a range of options are under consideration including those involved signing acceptable behaviour contracts.
"Cumbria Fire and Rescue is also involved in making sure those involved in such incidents are properly educated on the dangers."
The forces is urging anyone who witnesses or has any information about antisocial behaviour in their community to call 101.