Officers put across bin safety message after series of fires

PCSOs Chris Howard and Matthew Powell with resident Jade Young
PCSOs Chris Howard and Matthew Powell with resident Jade Young

Extra police patrols have been put on after a series of wheelie bin fires on the same Wellingborough estate where a three-year-old died in a house fire started by arsonists five years ago.

An emergency meeting was held between senior police officers, Wellingborough Councillors and representatives from the fire service and Wellingborough Homes yesterday morning following the fires at the Hemmingwell Estate on Tuesday night.

Their discussions included plans to hold high impact days to promote wheelie bin safety issues and a leaflet drop on the estate.

PCSO Chris Howard, who has patrolled at the Hemmingwell for more than five years, said: “We’ve put on extra patrols since the wheelie bin fires on Tuesday night. People are obviously concerned, and it has brought back memories of the tragic death of Callum Bland.

“This is the first spate of wheelie bin fires that I can remember on the estate for quite some time, and I have been working there for five-and-a-half years. It’s a close-knit community and they don’t want to see people being victims of crime.”

In a joint statement, Shaun Johnson and Mick Rodden from the Arson Task Force, said: “Deliberate fire setting is dangerous and we know from bitter experience that it can be fatal. The police and wider partnerships involved in community safety are eager for these offenders to be brought to justice and would urge that anyone with information contact the police.”

Jade Young, 19, of Gannet Lane, said: “Starting bin fires is definitely stupid and it’s a real hazard. People shouldn’t be doing this kind of ridiculous thing.”