A top Dundee police officer has vowed that police are doing everything they can to tackle deliberate fire-raising in the city.
Temporary area commander Chief Inspector Nicky Russell said there was an action plan to work towards reducing the problem, which she admitted has been on the increase.
She was speaking at Dundee City Council’s community safety and public protection committee last night, when members were told that deliberate fires were on the rise in Dundee.
The quarterly performance report for the city from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service showed 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.
Ch Insp Russell said: “We have seen a significant increase in fireraising in Dundee.
“We do have an action plan to tackle this. Community officers are working in various areas of
the city to try to prevent this happening.
“We have officers working in high visibility patrols and we also have plain clothes patrols working on this issue.”
She also said that police and the fire service were liaising with city schools to get the message out to young people about the dangers of fireraising.
She added: “We are in contact with head teachers about how to identify the people who are involved.
“That work is continuing. I understand the frustration of local communities about this problem but we are always looking to build intelligence that will lead us to the culprits. We would look to the local communities to help us in this.
“We recognise this is an ongoing problem and we will continue to use all our resources to resolve it.”
The report made reference to two major incidents crews dealt with during the quarter.
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 teenagers were charged with starting the Lochee blaze, while the Mill o’ Mains fire is still under investigation.
Figures also showed that there were 44 grass/woodland and 18 refuse incidents and fires in 29 wheelie bins, 15 recycling containers and nine skips, while three abandoned vehicles were set alight between July and September.
The report stated: “Local managers have been working closely with partner agencies to identify those responsible to reduce incidents of this type.”