13 April 2022| | 3 min read
Deliberate wheelie bin fires cost taxpayers over £3000
Firefighters have revealed a spate of deliberate wheelie bin fires has cost taxpayers around £3,300 – in just three months.
Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) have revealed there has been a spike in deliberate fires of wheelie bins in recent months.
Since the beginning of the year there has been 132 incidents across their Service area with the majority linked to teenage anti-social behaviour.
That includes 50 fires in the West Denton area of Newcastle where firefighters have been working closely with Your Homes Newcastle to secure their resident’s bins.
As the school Easter Holidays get underway, firefighters are working closely with local authorities to put preventative measures in place.
But now they have revealed that the recent fires could cost the taxpayer as much as £3,300 – with the average replacement bin costing £25.
Ed Foster, Head of Public Safety and Regulation at Newcastle City Council, said: “Tackling and preventing anti-social behaviour is a top priority for us as we know the detrimental impact it can have on the lives of our residents.
“Setting fire to wheelie bins is incredibly dangerous and the attacks put unnecessary pressures on resources.
“Everybody should feel safe in their own home and in their neighbourhoods so we will continue to working closely with our partners to identify the offenders and keep our communities safe.
“As the weather improves and during the school holidays, we will be encouraging young people to take part in a wide range of programmes across the city, where they can gain valuable life skills and thrive.”
Station Manager Ian Stewart, of TWFRS, covers the West Denton area of Newcastle where there has been 50 deliberate secondary fires in the last month.
He said: “We are experiences issues with wheelie bin fires across the Service area and we are working closely with police, the local authority and housing providers to address it.
“Many of these bin fires are linked to youth anti-social behaviour and we are concerned that some young people are putting themselves at risk.
“They may consider this to be harmless fun but it leaves the taxpayer out of pocket, residents with no bin and young people are putting themselves at risk.
“We are proactively looking to engage with young people and signpost them towards some of the great activities available in the community.
“But we need the support of parents as some young people may not understand the financial burden this creates for our region so we need your support to help educate them.
“We also need to know who those responsible are so we can help prevent them from injuring themselves and help divert them away from activity that could lead to them getting in trouble with the police.
“Residents are encouraged to take steps to secure their bins, perhaps by chaining them together. But please avoid chaining your bin to your home as this could put your home at risk if the bins are set alight.”
Sergeant Euan Faulke, of Northumbria Police, said: “We won’t tolerate antisocial behaviour as we know it can have a harmful impact on our communities.
“As a Force we will continue to support our partners in preventing and tackling these types of incidents through effective team work and information sharing.
“We would ask the public continues to support us by getting in touch whenever they see a crime being committed, or have information about any type of suspicious activity.”
Anyone who knows those responsible for deliberate fires in their areas can report it to the police through the Tell Us Something pages of their website.
You can also report information anonymously by calling FireStoppers on 0800 169 5558.
For more information about activities taking place in the city, search Holiday Activity Fund on Newcastle City Council’s website.