LOCKS have been fitted to 400 wheelie bins in a Sheffield suburb in a bid to reduce the number set alight in arson attacks.
The new modified lockable bins have been delivered to residents in Longley.
The project is one of the largest schemes of its type ever piloted in the UK.
Only householders with keys for the bins are able to open them. It is hoped that making the bins impossible to open without a key will make them less tempting to arsonists.
The locks have been fitted to bins by offenders carrying out Community Payback probabtion service work.
The project is being delivered by officers from South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service’s fire safety awareness team.
Group manager John Roberts said: “Wheelie bin fires are an incredibly serious issue. Not only do they represent a massive drain on our resources and may prevent us from dealing with more serious incidents, they themselves can often escalate and become life-threatening. This is the largest scheme of its kind we’re aware of anywhere in the country.”
Sheffield councillor Andrew Sangar said: “We are keen to deter these arson attacks and will be monitoring the effectiveness of these lockable bins very closely before deciding whether they should be used elsewhere.”
An arson attack on a wheelie bin in December 2005 led to the deaths of 68-year-old Anthony Brightmore, his 65-year-old wife Patricia and their blind son Stephen, 35, in Batemoor Walk, Batemoor, Sheffield.