In a unique joint operation between the police, fire service and council, a Clydesdale village became the centre of a dragnet on Monday to catch a firebug whose ‘pranks’ of the past eight months might end in a tragedy.
Both Police Scotland and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service had officers touring Carnwath that day, carrying out inquiries and handing out information leaflets in a bid to track down the person in the close-knit village responsible for at least 10 acts of wilful fire-raising since last October, idiotic acts that have cost local taxpayers around £20,000 so far.
In a joint statement, the services said: “Over the past eight months there have been 10 incidents of fire-setting in the Park Road and Sommerville Drive area of Carnwath. This has involved to fires in bins, sheds and gardens.
“Each year the Fire Service in South Lanarkshire attends between 600 and 800 fires involving refuse and rubbish. A massive 90% of these fires are due to deliberate fire-setting which is reckless and irresponsible behaviour.
“The cost to the Service and our communities is staggering, with an estimated average cost of £2,000 for attendance at such incidents.
“As well as potentially delaying attendance at a more serious incident, fire setting can result in injury, property damage and environmental pollution.
“Every fire has victims, costs and consequences. Deliberate Fire Setting is an offence.
“The police, fire servuce and council are working together to drive down these type of incidents.
“Jointly they will be engaging with the local community this week to raise awareness in the area and help keep people safe.”