Let’s flush out the arsonist

Tracey King from Firthcliffe estate, Liversedge, is one of several residents that have recently been the target of an arsonist.
Tracey King from Firthcliffe estate, Liversedge, is one of several residents that have recently been the target of an arsonist.

A woman whose car was set ablaze in a series of attacks hopes a scheme to make residents the “eyes and ears” of the police will flush out the arsonist.

Since April there have been six arson attacks on the estate which police now say maybe linked.

Yesterday police and the fire service met people in Liversedge to give advice on how to stay safe.

Tracey King said: “I hope it will make the person who is doing this very nervous. I don’t know if it will make him known to us but we really need someone to catch him.

“The meeting was to show residents that we have not been overlooked and the police are trying to do something.

“What we really need is more CCTV but we would need absolutely loads because we don’t know where he will strike next. More police patrols would help but they don’t have the money.”

This week there was a further rubbish fire in The Grove, Heckmondwike.

There was another fire in Station Road, Heckmondwike, in May, in which a caravan with two full gas canisters was set ablaze parked on a driveway while a family slept inside.

In response to the attacks emergency service and Kirklees Council representatives visited the estate to raise awareness and ask residents to keep an eye out and give advice on how to avoid falling victim to attacks.

Mohammed Ali, West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service‟ district prevention manager for Kirklees, said: “In recent months we have experienced a number of anti-social fires within the Liversedge area.

“These incidents could have easily led to something much worse.

“The perpetrators should place themselves in the victim’s‟ situation and consider how they would feel if it was their property being damaged, or even worse their own life or a family member or friend’s life under threat?

“Fire is unpredictable and dangerous, not only can it kill but deliberately setting a fire can leave you with a criminal record and scar you for life.”

Inspector Mohammed Rauf, of Batley and Spen Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “It is important that we highlight to people just how dangerous incidents of arson can be.

“It only takes seconds for a fire to spread and even the smallest of fires can pose a real risk if it is it near homes and businesses.

“The fires that we have been experiencing over recent months in Liversedge have been in residential areas with vehicles generally being targeted.

“There is a real danger that lives could be put in jeopardy by this reckless behaviour.”

Anyone with information should contact the police on 101.