New technology to catch arsonists

PUBLISHED: 12:50 10 August 2006 | UPDATED: 14:47 12 May 2010

ARSON attacks in south Cambridgeshire have become such a growing concern that new technology has been developed to help prevent further incidents. The equipment is being deployed by Cambridgeshire police southern division and the Cambridge Fire and Rescue

ARSON attacks in south Cambridgeshire have become such a growing concern that new technology has been developed to help prevent further incidents.

The equipment is being deployed by Cambridgeshire police southern division and the Cambridge Fire and Rescue Service to prevent stack fires.

Ellen Muirhead, a member of the arson attack force at Cambridge police, said: "This equipment has been deployed to assist the police in reaching stack fires more speedily in the hope of catching the arsonists.

"The new devices will give us a fighting chance of identifying the arsonists, catching them and bringing successful prosecutions.

"We are determined to do all we can to help farmers and rural businesses to prevent deliberate arson attacks which are not only extremely dangerous, but expensive."

Stack fires can cause more than £80,000 damage.

County Councillor Linda Oliver, who is a member of the fire authority, has liaised with the fire service and the police to prevent further arson attacks.

She is now pushing for extra funding for more technology.

She said: "I have made sure the police and the fire service have all the information and intelligence to nail the people causing the arson attacks.

"People have got to keep their eyes open, and if they do see anyone suspicious, they need to let people know immediately."

Mark Ticehurst, crime reduction officer for Cambridgeshire police, said: "It can take fire crews hours to deal with a stack fire, which means we are unable to respond as quickly to real emergencies.

"We were called to six stack fires over last weekend alone.

"Hopefully these devices will act as a deterrent.

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