Tyne & Wear

Arson accounts for 76% of fires on Teesside

Arson accounted for 76% of fire-related incidents on Teesside during the past year, latest figures have shown.

Cleveland Fire Brigade has begun a crackdown on illegal fires, which are estimated to cost the local economy up to £14m a year.

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

The campaign has been launched at a time when the number of incidents normally rises, due to the lighter nights and Easter school holidays.

Barry Waller, from Cleveland Fire Brigade, said: "We'll be working closely with the police and other key partners to get the message across that arson is a crime and can kill.

"It also has a devastating impact on businesses and residents in lots of other ways."

He added: "We need the support from the community to stop starting fires in the first place, and during the campaign we'll be educating people about the dangers as well as diverting people to a wide range of productive activities within their local community."

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