Arson on Teesside 'costs local economy £16m a year'

Arson on Teesside costs the local economy up to £16.7m a year, latest figures have shown.

Cleveland Fire Brigade has begun a crackdown on arson, which it says accounted for 75% of "fire-related incidents" on Teesside last year.

It has issued posters and leaflets and arranged activities for young people.

The launch of the campaign coincides with the start of the school summer holidays when the number of reported arson incidents normally increases.

Cleveland Fire Brigade's Phil Lancaster said: "Deliberate fire setting ruins lives, ruins communities, ruins local businesses and we are encouraging people to say 'enough is enough'.

"Although we have seen a reduction in the number of incidents of arson, the large majority of fires in the Cleveland area are still arson-related and we are determined to do everything we can to put an end to it."

In total last year there were 3,029 arson callouts across the Cleveland Fire Brigade area.

The location for the campaign launch is Eston Hills - the scene of 240 fires last year - when firefighters will come together with Cleveland Police and council neighbourhood officers to highlight the dangers of arson.

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