Arson initiative deemed a success
A joint initiative between Cleveland Fire Brigade and Cleveland Police to tackle arson is proving to be a big success.
The initiative - which has seen fire and police personnel taking to their bikes to carry out joint patrols during the summer holidays - has led to a huge drop in reports of arson compared to last year's summer holidays.
Currently, there has only been one reported incident, yet last year, the force received 17 fire incidents on Eston Hills.
As well as bike patrols, officers are also using scrambler motorbikes and a UNIMOG - a specialist off-road vehicle that can tackle uneven terrain and put out fires. The patrols are all part on an initiative which is designed to tackle deliberate grass fires and rubbish fires in the area, as well as providing a deterrent for low level anti-social behaviour.
Bike patrols have also taken place in numerous other parts of the Redcar and Cleveland area, including Dormanstown, Newcomen and Coatham.
Steve Harll, Redcar Station Manager, said: "This is a great example of the Fire Brigade and the Police working closely together to tackle a specific problem in our local community.
"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."
Cleveland Police Acting Chief Inspector Guy Hall said: "This joint initiative with Cleveland Fire Brigade enables us to carry out pro-active patrols and combat issues affecting residents. We want to ensure that by working in partnership we can not only educate and take action against those responsible, but also enable people to enjoy the local area without being subject to anti-social behaviour."
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