New team will take on the firebugs

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.


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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.

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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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