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NW Dumfries fire record finally improving

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By Marc Mclean, Local Democracy Reporter
Dumfries and West
NW Dumfries fire record finally improving

FIRESETTING in North West Dumfries – the region’s hotspot for deliberate blazes – is gradually being brought under control.

Fire service chiefs this week welcomed a reduction of 25 per cent in deliberate firesetting in the area.

New figures show that there were 48 incidents in North West Dumfries between April 1, 2023 and March 31 this year.

This is down from 64 the previous year, and a considerable decrease on the figure of 78 deliberate fires in 2021/2022.

The latest stats were presented in a fire service performance report tabled at Dumfries and Galloway Council’s police, fire, and rescue sub-committee on Monday.

However, North West Dumfries still has a far worse record than any other area, accounting for 30 percent of all deliberate firesetting incidents in the region.

The next highest locations were Lochar (22) and Nith (19).

Fire service area commander Andrew Kenna, who attended Monday’s committee, said: “For any deliberate fire, which has any criminality whatsoever, we have got an agreement with Police Scotland where we ask for their attendance.

“We investigate and try to identify the individuals that are carrying out these antisocial behaviour acts.”

Nith Councillor David Slater said: “A number of large buildings in this area have been burnt down in the last few years.

“With these buildings, could the fire brigade ask them to fit CCTV, or install a fire system going back to the fire station?

“Because these are expensive incidents and the buildings are just being boarded up or burnt down. I just wondered if there’s any other way that the fire service could look at that to protect these buildings.

“Once they’re gone, they’re gone.”

Area commander Kenna said: “We have a targeted approach to this. We have seen a welcome reduction in the North West Dumfries ward at 25 per cent.

“And we do work with the owners of these premises as well; one, for the security aspect to make sure that the premises are secure.

“And secondly, if we can provide any advice, we will do that engagement piece to make sure that they’ve got the appropriate fire detection system.

“In relation to any CCTV, that would be up to the dutyholder, the responsible person, if they felt the need for that.”

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