Spate of wheelie bin fires prompts police warning

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SONY DSC

RESIDENTS in Levenmouth have been menaced in recent weeks by a steady spate of bin fires.

In Leven, blue paper collection bins at the same house were set alight twice in the space of three weeks, destroying the bins and blackening the walls of the property. During the first incident, a neighbour’s grey bin was also torched.

Following similar acts last month in Den Walk, Methil, police issued pleas for the culprits to stop indulging in such reckless and potentially dangerous behaviour. With so many bins being close to houses, they warned, the consequences could be serious.

Fife Fire and Rescue Service was called out to the Forth Street area of Leven late on July 17, after a resident discovered the blue bin ablaze. A similar incident had happened around three weeks earlier, also on a Sunday, which the fire brigade also attended.

The householder believed it was down to youngsters causing mischief but the situation had nevertheless been very worrying.

“I just don’t see what they get out of it,“ said the householder. “It’s not as if they can hang around and watch the flames – if they did, they’d be caught.”

Fife Council operated a helpline for enquiries about replacing damaged bins, which could normally be done within five working days.

Environmental strategy officer Lesley Sugden said some cases of damage, such as fire-raising, would be a police matter, but arrangements to have bins replaced could be made once enquiries were over.

People could visit their local offices regarding new bins, while they could also fill in an on-line form which covered various reasons for needing a bin replaced – including non-fire related vandalism as well as those which had been “burnt out”.

Ms Sugden suggested, where possible, perhaps trying to store bins away from properties or making them less visible from the street might help reduce the risk, although it was appreciated not all households could do this.

The council’s helpline number is 08451 550 022.