Campaign sees summer arsons down on Teesside

Police and fire chiefs on Teesside say a campaign to cut the number of arson attacks during the school summer holidays has proved a success.

Cleveland Police and Cleveland Fire Brigade focused the campaign in the Eston Hills area, where 17 incidents were reported during the 2011 holidays.

But in the same period this year that number reduced to just one.

Officers used bicycles to patrol problem areas, where grass and rubbish fires were prevalent last year.

Difficult access

A brigade spokesman said: "Being on bikes means we are far more accessible and approachable to the public, and are in a great position to spot potential problems.

"Using bikes means we can also reach areas that are difficult to access in fire engines."

Figures revealed earlier this year showed that arson on Teesside costs the local economy up to £16.7m a year.

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

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