Firebugs Could Face Jail

Firebugs risk lives, waste resources and could face a large fine or hefty jail sentence. This is the stark
warning from Essex County Fire and Rescue Service.

The service has issued the warning as the school summer holidays approach, a time when there is
normally a rise in the number of deliberate fires.

Senior Divisional Officer Paul Bowers, Head of Community Safety, said: “Every year we see an
increase in deliberate fires during the school holidays.
“These fire are a danger to the environment and the communities in which we live and they put lives
at risk.
“Not only can they spiral out of control causing vast amounts of damage and injury but they divert vital
fire service resources which could be needed for life saving operations elsewhere.”

Deliberate fires carry hefty fines and prison sentences. Starting the fire with the intent to endanger life
can lead to a life sentence while starting fires which do not endanger life can lead to a fine,
community service or even a six month custodial sentence.

The service runs a number of schemes to educate young people about the dangers of fires and help
parents who are concerned that their children have an unhealthy fascination with fire.

The Juvenile Firesetters scheme speaks with youngsters referred by their parents or any other
agency, including the police, local fire stations, social services and Youth Offending Teams.

One of the service’s 39 advisors will speak to the child about their fire setting behavior and help to get to the bottom of the problem and teach them about the dangers of fire

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