Cases of arson over Easter cost taxpayers £550,000, Cleveland Fire Brigade has announced.

Between March 28 and April 14 firefighters attended nearly 300 separate incidents, costing a total of £549,630. The majority of these call outs were in response to deliberately started grass fires. Two areas were hit particularly hard: Eston Hills in Redcar and Cleveland and Summerhill Country Park in Hartlepool.

Phil Lancaster, Director of Community Protection with Cleveland Fire Brigade, said: “Overall, arson is falling significantly year-on-year, but it still accounts for 71% of fires.

“These latest figures over the Easter period demonstrate there is still much work to be done to tackle arson, and we are continuing to work closely with our partners and local communities to put a stop to it once and for all.

“Grass fires not only blight our landscape and harm our countryside; they also put the lives of residents, firefighters, visitors and animals in danger.”

The announcement comes just weeks after the Brigade launched its latest campaign to stop arson, called Enough is Enough. For more information on this go to: