Deliberate fires are on the rise in Dundee, according to a new report.
The quarterly performance report for the city from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service shows deliberate secondary fires rose from 330 incidents between April 1 and September 30 last year to 360 incidents in the same period this year.
Secondary fires cover outdoor fires and blazes in derelict buildings.
Despite this rise, primary fires — blazes in buildings, vehicles or outdoor structures — were down from 37 incidents to 27.
The report, due to be presented to Dundee City Council’s community safety and public protection committee today, makes reference to two major incidents crews dealt with in that time.
A devastating blaze in July saw the Mill o’ Mains Pavilion destroyed by a deliberate fire, while more than 30 firefighters were called out to control a huge fire at the Old Lochee Parish Church in September.
Three teens were charged with starting the Lochee blaze, while the Mill o’ Mains blaze is still under investigation.
Separate figures between July and September this year also show that there were 44 grass/woodland, 29 wheelie bins, 18 refuse, 15 recycling containers, nine skips and three abandoned vehicles set alight by firebugs.
The report stated: “Local managers have been working closely with partner agencies to identify those responsible in order to reduce incidents of this type. 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.”
Lochee was identified as a hotspot for deliberate fire setting with 35, followed by the North East (30) and East End (29).
False alarms, however, saw a big drop between July and September this year, falling from 634 in 2016 to 561 this year.
The report continued: “A total of 461 false alarm calls were attended by operational crews during the second quarter of 2017-18. This is considerably less than the five-year average for this period. False alarm calls accounted for 63% of all incidents in the Dundee area during the reporting period.”
The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service was approached for comment, but had not responded by the time the Tele went to press.