More than 100 vehicles torched in Lincolnshire

More than 100 vehicles were torched deliberately across Lincolnshire in a year, fire service figures show.

More than 100 vehicles were torched deliberately across Lincolnshire in a year, fire service figures show.

Over the course of a decade, fire crews in the area were called out to over 1,000 deliberate vehicle fires, 101 of them last year.

Arsonists torching vehicles are putting lives at risk and taking up time and resources from already stretched services, according to the Fire Brigades Union and the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC).

Since recording began in 1981, England’s fire and rescue services have attended more than a million deliberate vehicle fires, with nearly 8,500 incidents in 2020.

The chair of the NFCC described the thousands of "mindless incidents" as shocking and called on people to report vandals setting cars alight to the police.

The Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue Service is one of just five fire services to have seen a rise in this kind of arson, with incidents up from 100 in 2019.

There were 98 deliberate vehicle fires attended in 2015 and there has been a fall of 22 percent since 2011, when 130 incidents were recorded.

Dan Moss, Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue’s area manager for prevention and protection, said: “Dealing with any deliberate incident ties up valuable fire and rescue resources and if a call for a life-threatening emergency had come in to us, we could have been delayed in attending because of the mindless actions of selfish people.

“Deliberate fire-setting is treated as a serious offence and investigated as such, with our crews working closely with Lincolnshire Police and other organisations to share information and tackle this.”

Data released by the Home Office shows that vehicle fires accounted for a quarter of all deliberate blazes attended by fire crews in the area last year, though figures could be higher as not all fires are reported.

Lincolnshire Police Chief Superintendent Jon McAdam said: “Any arson is a serious matter for us to consider as they are incredibly dangerous, easily spiraling out of control and having the potential to cause serious damage, injury or even fatalities.

“Vehicle arsons have a substantial impact on any victim. The loss of a vehicle represents the loss of freedom to travel to work, healthcare appointments, childcare responsibilities, supermarkets, and it can feel like a really personal razing of their belongings; with cars, vans, motorcycles, and all other types of vehicles being expensive to buy and difficult to replace.

“We work closely with our partners in the local fire and rescue service to investigate any arson which is reported to us, and we will do everything in our power to find those responsible and bring them to justice.”