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New team will take on the firebugs

PUBLISHED: 16:59 09 December 2008 | UPDATED: 09:39 11 August 2010

THE FIRE Brigade is taking a new approach to try and reduce the number of arson attacks in the borough. They have set up a team of police community support officers which will work with the fire stations to help them try and stamp out malicious blazes. Th

THE FIRE Brigade is taking a new approach to try and reduce the number of arson attacks in the borough.

They have set up a team of police community support officers which will work with the fire stations to help them try and stamp out malicious blazes.

There were 776 arson attacks in 2007/08, and 381 were recorded between April and the end of October this year.

A training day took for the new Police Arson Control Team (PACT) took place last Tuesday (November 25), at Dagenham Fire Station.

The PCSOs were told their role, and talked with firefighters about the scourge of arson.

PACT, the first team of its kind in London, will operate in nine wards: Abbey, Chadwell Heath, Eastbrook, Gascoigne, Goresbrook, Heath, River, Thames, and Village.

Susan Douglas, of Barking and Dagenham's arson task force, said: "This scheme will allow us to work together to combat arson within the borough.

"The PCSOs' knowledge of the area will be invaluable in helping to identify any fire-related activity in those wards."

The initiative follows a pilot in Barking's Gascoigne Ward, where the arson task force has been working with PCSOs for the last two years.

Jim Donovan, Borough Fire Commander, said: "I'm sure PACT will be a success, and that we will reduce arson across the borough.


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