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Day of action in Calderdale aims to tackle anti-social fires

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) is working with Halifax MP Holly Lynch and partners on a new initiative to tackle anti-social fires in the Illingworth area.

A day of action tomorrow (August 8th) will see WYFRS join Ms Lynch and her team, representatives from Calderdale Council, West Yorkshire Police and Together Housing to speak to residents, hear their ideas and suggest plans to tackle issues in the area.

It comes after Ms Lynch sent out a survey to 300 houses in Illingworth to gauge their thoughts following increased reports of deliberate fires since the start of the year. These nuisance fires tend to involve setting fire to rubbish.

Ms Lynch said: “There have been 60 deliberate fires in the Illingworth area since the start of the year. Our day of action is bringing different agencies together to work with residents to get to grips with this problem.

“We will be out and about in the North Byland area to speak to residents about the initiative and get their input between 2pm and 5pm.

“We hope that with community support we can tackle the root causes of anti-social fires and put a stop to it.”

Illingworth Fire Station Manager Craig Hill said: “West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service will continue to be proactive in working with our partner agencies in order to reduce the number of deliberate fires and anti-social behaviour within Illingworth.

“The joint working initiatives have already shown initial successes and in the last couple of weeks we have seen a drop in nuisance fires in the area however we will not rest on our laurels.

“The day of action is intended to reassure our local residents that we are all working together to make our community safer.”

West Yorkshire Police Inspector Pam Quinn said: “Our Neighbourhood Policing Team continues to work alongside Calderdale Council and the Fire Service to combat reports of anti-social behaviour and will be supporting the day of action to gauge the public’s concerns on nuisance fires and anti-social behaviour.

“While we have not seen a rise in reports of antisocial behaviour in this area, officers continue to patrol at times when anti-social behaviour is most prevalent to offer reassurance to the community and to deter crime.

“We believe incidents are going unreported and would urge anyone who witnesses or is a victim of crime, or anyone who has had their property damaged as a result of anti-social behaviour to report it to police.”

Cllr Susan Press, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Services and Communities, said:

“We’re backing this day of action as part of our continued partnership work to ensure that local people feel safe in Calderdale.

“We do everything we can to tackle anti-social behaviour and we take a firm but fair approach to enforcement. We’re listening to people’s concerns and want to reassure them that we’re taking action to tackle local issues.”

If you have concerns about anti-social fires in your area please report them to your local station, where our crews will be happy to speak with you about your concerns.