Joint warning issued to help combat straw stack fires

09:55 07 July 2014

Thousands of tons of straw caught fire at the former barracks in Waterbeach, last month.

Thousands of tons of straw caught fire at the former barracks in Waterbeach, last month.

Archant

Police and the fire service are urging people to report suspicious activity around straw stacks in a bid to reduce the risk of arson attacks.

The number of deliberate stack fires increased last year to 17, up five incidents compared with 2012 to 2013.

Historically, stacks tend to be targeted between July and October.

Officers are working with Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service, Cambridgeshire Countryside Watch and the National Farmers’ Union to launch Operation Armitage.

Inspector Ian Ford said: “These fires cost businesses thousands of pounds and also cause huge disruption to rural communities and motorists.

“We are using a range of tactics, including the use of covert equipment, to identify and catch anyone committing this type of crime. But we also need people to report any suspicious activity around these stacks.

“Offenders face being arrested and put before the courts. However, there is also an important safety issue to consider. Those responsible are not only risking their own lives but potentially the lives of others.”

Arson liaison officer at Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service, Martin Boome, said: “We take a dim view of any kind of fire which is started deliberately - including stack fires. This type of fire has the potential to kill, not only those in the nearby vicinity, but also the arsonists themselves.

“A stack fire can tie up fire and police resources for several hours, which means people starting them deliberately are impacting on our response to other emergency calls.”

Any information regarding suspects or suspicious activities around straw stacks should be reported to police by calling 101, 999 in an emergency or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.

More news stories

Yesterday, 17:59

Hundreds of motorists face delays tonight as a serious accident continues to block the A142 at Mepal between Chatteris and Ely.

Yesterday, 17:01

A man has been refused permission for a hydrotherapy suite in a self contained annexe near his home which he says he needs for medical reasons.

Yesterday, 09:09

Mitchell Bird, 29, of Cox Close, Wisbech will appear at Cambridge Crown Court following an incident in Cox Close on February 14.

Yesterday, 15:08

The boss of a Cambridgeshire property management company – who defrauded up to 400 tenants and the same number of landlords - has been jailed after admitting stealing £140,000 of clients’ money.

Most read stories

Most commented stories

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Ely Standard e-edition E-edition
HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter