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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Hard-hitting campaign highlights arson hotspots

15-April 2014

Stencil photo for Flames Aren't Games
Stencil for Flames Aren't Games campaign

Firefighters will be taking to the streets of Tamworth to highlight arson hotspots in the town as part of a hard-hitting campaign.

"We are working hard to educate young people about the dangers posed by this type of anti-social behaviour. This pilot project will enable teenagers and members of the communities they live in to put the problem into perspective." 

Thomas Osborne - Community Safety Officer

Community Safety Officers and volunteers will use a specially designed ‘Flames Aren’t Games’ stencil to earmark areas in Glascote and Stoneydelph that have historically been targeted by fire-setters.

They will use spray paint to cover the cut out so that residents can clearly see the extent of the problem in the district and work with the Service to combat the anti-social behaviour. The motifs will be removed at the end of the pilot.

Local neighbourhoods will also receive a leaflet telling them about the innovative initiative and calling upon them to support the Service in its efforts to tackle such incidents, which can have potentially life-threatening consequences.

Crews dealt with 2,281 small fires – including grass and bin blazes - in 2013 and 3,505 in 2011. The two years are comparable due to similar weather conditions.

In the east of the county there were 433 last year compared to 712 in 2011.

Thomas Osborne, Community Safety Officer, said: "The Flames Aren’t Games campaign has proved to be very successful in reducing the number of small incidents, such as grass and bin fires, since it was launched in 2011 and we are 100 per cent committed to building upon our achievements.

"We are working hard to educate young people about the dangers posed by this type of anti-social behaviour. This pilot project will enable teenagers and members of the communities they live in to put the problem into perspective. We, along with our partners, will have a high profile presence in the area during the initiative, talking to people about what we are doing, why we are doing it and to offer information and advice."

Police Community Support Officers and Street Wardens will be joining forces with Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service to run the scheme.

The team has been given permission from the county council to carry out the trial and, if it is successful in reducing the number of deliberate grass fires, it could be rolled out across Staffordshire next year.