The number of deliberate fires set across Dundee has risen by almost two-thirds in the space of a year.
Figures from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service for the period between October and December last year revealed 209 deliberate fires had been reported, up from 129 in the same period in 2015 — an increase of 62%.
The figure is 28% higher than the five-year average of 163 for the period of October to December.
Area manager Colin Grieve said the service had identified areas of the city that were of “particular concern”, including the North East — where 77 incidents of deliberate fires were recorded, and the East End, where there were 43.
Despite the increase, Mr Grieve said work was ongoing to bring the figures down.
He said intelligence related to building fires is shared with the police and other agencies and discussed at a fire-related antisocial behaviour group.
He said: “Actions agreed at these meetings have led to improvements, such as increased security at premises and frequent patrols in high-risk areas conducted by community wardens.
“Where young people are identified as having committed these acts they are referred to our prevention team where appropriate, as part of our ‘Fire Setters’ intervention programme.”
Of the 209 fires reported, 14 were “primary” fires — which cover buildings fit for occupation, caravans, cars, outdoor storage and agricultural and forestry premises.
Of these, nine were house fires, with the others being two garden sheds, a motor vehicle, an industrial unit and secure storage containers on a construction site.
The remaining 195 deliberate fires were “secondary”, affecting the likes of grassland, playground and park furniture and rubbish.
Almost half of these were wheelie bin fires, while a quarter were grass or scrub blazes.
As a whole, deliberate fires made up 21% of all incidents fire officers dealt with in the last three months of last year.
Mr Grieve also noted that the service’s preparations for Bonfire Night paid off.
He said: “Preparatory work and the promotion of Dundee City Council’s organised events contributed to only 17 bonfires being extinguished.”