Arson costing Teesside almost £17m

Arson on Teesside is costing the economy almost £17m a year, new figures show.

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Arson on Teesside costs millions

Cleveland Fire Service says that arson attacks cost Teesside's economy nearly 17 million pounds a year. Around three quarters of all fires dealt with by the brigade are started deliberately.

The price of putting out the blaze, as well as destroyed property and possessions, costs the borough more than 300 thousand pounds a week. Today the service launched an awareness campaign to coincide with the school holidays, a time when incidents of arson tend to increase.

Arson costs Teesside economy almost £17m

Figures released by Cleveland Fire Brigade show that arson was responsible for three-quarters of fire-related incidents and cost the local economy £16.7m - an average of £321,524 per week last year.

In total, there were 3,029 arson incidents across Cleveland.

The fire brigade are starting a campaign to coincide with the start of the summer school holidays when the number of arson incidents normally increase.

"Deliberate fire setting ruins lives, ruins communities, ruins local businesses and we are encouraging people to say 'Enough is Enough'_**. Why should the people of this area put up with this sort of behaviour? Deliberate lighting of any fires will not and should not be tolerated by anyone and we have this message - we are watching you and you will be caught. "

"Although we have seen a reduction in the number of incidents of arson, the large majority of fires in the Cleveland area are still arson-related and we are determined to do everything we can to put an end to it. "

– Phil Lancaster, Director of Community Protection, Cleveland Fire Brigade
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