Large-scale operation to tackle arson attacks in Corby launched

The Take Action week on the Kingswood estate in Corby
The Take Action week on the Kingswood estate in Corby

A large-scale operation to bring down levels of arson in the Corby area has been launched this week.

Operation Revive is being led by the Arson Task Force, a joint team run by Northamptonshire Police and Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service, with Corby Community Safety Partnership.

This work will hopefully increase the safety of residents on the estate

Kevin Aitken

The launch coincided with the Corby Community Safety Partnership’s Take Action week in Corby’s Kingswood ward, taking place from Monday to Friday this week.

Throughout Northamptonshire, incidents of arson have increased by 25 per cent in the year 2014-2015, compared to the previous year.

There have been 74 arsons in Corby within the last year (2014-2015), an increase of 32 per cent on the previous year.

Currently 40 per cent of arsons in Corby are occurring in the Kingswood ward where, in the last 18 months, there have been 39 arsons - the highest level in any area within Northamptonshire.

Figures for 2014-2015 for other towns in the north of the county are 39 arsons in both Kettering and East Northants and 52 in Wellingborough.

One of the most common types of arson in Northamptonshire is wheelie bins being set alight.

The figures reveal that one in six arsons within the county is caused by a wheelie bin being set on fire.

The police and fire service are out and about as part of Corby Community Safety Partnership’s latest Take Action week of activities.

Corby Community Safety Partnership members have already been out talking to residents about issues ranging from flytipping to fire awareness, and handing out safety information packs.

They will be repeating this activity tomorrow.

Fire crews will also be on the Kingswood estate tomorrow to offer home fire safety checks to residents and to supply smoke alarms if required.

They will be working with the police and neighbourhood wardens to ensure they are visiting people who are deemed to be most at risk.

Crews will also be patrolling the area in search of obvious fire risks such as accumulations of rubbish and, in particular, combustible materials.

Corby Fire Station manager Kevin Aitken said: “The number of fires in the Kingswood estate is one of the major drivers for Operation Revive in this area, because the number of arsons in Kingswood has increased.

“I would urge local residents to take simple steps such as making sure they put the right bins out on the right day, so that rubbish is collected in a timely manner and does not build up too much.

“This is just part of our ongoing involvement in Kingswood.

“This work will hopefully increase the safety of residents on the estate.”

Earlier this week the community payback team were completing jobs in the area such as painting and unclear signage.

Shaun Johnson, from the Arson Task Force, said: “It is great to be able to work closely with the Kingswood community, as part of the Corby Community Safety Partnership, to raise awareness of some of the potential risk factors when it comes to arson.

“We would also like to urge more members of the public to come forward with any information they have with regard to the arsons that have taken place in Corby or any other area within Northamptonshire.

“Anyone who would like to give information anonymously can do this by ringing the Crimestoppers number.”

Anyone who has witnessed an arson in Northamptonshire can contact the police on 101 or give information anonymously via Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555111.