Arsonists strike at Hucknall Bypass

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A popular dog-walking route along the Hucknall Bypass has been hit by arsonists over the last month.

Fire crews from Hucknall and Stockhill tackled nine small blazes that were lit by the side of footpaths in the vicinity of Farley’s Lane, Betts Lane and the Hucknall-Bulwell car boot site during March.

The fires were deliberately started on wasteland or grassland and in one case saw two steel storage containers severely damaged after Holmatro hydraulic equipment was used to open the padlock.

A spokeswoman for Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “Arson signs have been placed around the hot spots and we are working with the local Police to identify those responsible. The times of these incidents do not point to them being started solely by children as they are predominantly during school time.”

Risk Reduction Officer Louise Robinson said: “People do not appreciate the consequences of deliberate fire-setting in an environment like this.

“Grass fires can spread at an alarming rate, and can quickly require a large number of fire and rescue service resources, making them unavailable to attend other potentially life-threatening incidents. Conviction of arson can carry a sentence of six months in prison or a hefty fine, along with a criminal record - either of which can affect you for the rest of your life.

“We appeal to people using this area to be extra vigilant and if a member of the public witnesses someone acting suspiciously or lighting a fire, they should report it to the Crimestoppers on 0800 555111, or to the fire service when reporting the fire.”

Fire officers and crew manager Neil Chauntry from Hucknall Fire Station, toured the area on Monday to inspect the sites of the fires, which were all lit by the side of foot paths. The circular route is used by dog walkers.