Extra police patrols to tackle Leven firebugs

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Police in Levenmouth are stepping up patrols to target who have been setting deliberate fires.

They say they have become aware of recent incidents, buckets, rubbish and wheelie bins have all gone up in flames.

Since the start of November there have been several reports of fires in Letham Glen, Bawbee Bridge, Cameron Bridge and Windygates.

They say that wilful fire-raising is “incredibly dangerous to those responsible and the general public”.

Sergeant Craig Fyall said: “It is clear theses fire are deliberate and have been occurring in areas where large groups of youths congregate, steal and then set fire to buckets and debris to keep warm.

“Our colleagues in the fire service are then called out to extinguish the fire.

“This type of behaviour is fraught with danger as it is likely that someone will be seriously injured or the fire will spread.

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“To address the issue there will be increased patrols in the areas, and engagement with schools to educate youths with regard to the danger of setting fire deliberately.

“I’d like to appeal directly to parents and guardians to ensure that they know where their children are, when they are going out and to warn them of the consequences of fire.”

The latest figures from the Scottish Fire & Rescue Service show the number of incidents of deliberate fires being set between from April to September rose from 128 last year to 137 in 2018.

The figures are the highest of the seven area committees in the Kingdom.

While the number of incidents has actually dropped in the Buckhaven, Methil and Wemyss Villages ward, reports in the Leven, Kennoway and Largo ward shot up from 45 in the six-month period in 2017, to 64 this year, a 42 per cent rise.

The rise over the past few years has been a sudden one. For the same period in 2014, the figure was 61 in Levenmouth, less than half the current figure.

Thirty-four of the deliberate fires were set in July, 13 more than over the same month in 2017.

The Scottish Fire & Rescue Service said earlier this year that the figures for 2017/18 for Levenmouth were the “highest on record”.

Firefighters have engaged with members of the community to educate them on the dangers and consequences of deliberately setting a fire.

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