Cheshire fire crews need police escorts to incidents after 16 arson attacks in three days

Crews at an incident in Winsford. Credit: Cheshire Fire & Rescue Service

Firefighters and police officers have been battling against a rising number of arson attacks across Winsford in Cheshire.

Crews have dealt with 16 arson attacks across the town since Saturday 29 October, and have ended up needing to use police escorts to accompany fire engines to incidents.

Fires have been started deliberately and when firefighters have arrived to put them out they have been met by groups of young people shining lasers in their eyes and throwing fireworks.

Some of the fires were found close to buildings, including an elderly persons home, a shop and a house.

The Service's Area Manager for Prevention and Protection, Steve McCormick, said: "What the people setting the fires don't realise is that, quite apart from the serious damage they can inflict, they are potentially harming their own futures as we will work with our police colleagues to prosecute anyone suspected of arson, leaving them with a criminal record.

"There is also a significant consequence on the community in which they live as each of these incidents results in environmental and financial impacts as the burned materials are cleared."

Cheshire Police officers have urged people to report incidents. Credit: PA

Inspector Jason Murray from Cheshire Police said: "We are aware of reports of deliberate fires in Winsford over the weekend and have a number of enquiries underway to establish the full circumstances and find those responsible.

"Anti-social behaviour of any kind will not be tolerated in our town and we are doing everything we can to locate the offenders and bring them to justice.

"We will have patrols in key areas and will look at using other powers available to us, such as dispersal orders, in order to stamp out these incidents.

"As part of our ongoing enquiries, I would urge anyone who may have information on who is responsible or may have any dashcam or CCTV footage to come forward and report it to us via our website."