Stark warning to arsonists after a surge in attacks

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ARSONISts in South Yorkshire are being warned they face ‘significant punishment’ if they are convicted at court.

The warning comes after a huge surge in attacks over the summer.

Over July and August firefighters were called out to 1,315 fires involving grass, rubbish, bins, trees and fencing - double the number attended over the same two months the year before.

Arson attacks overall are still decreasing year on year in South Yorkshire but fire chiefs did say they were ‘disappointed’ at the summer increase, which they put down to a long dry spell of weather which they said made it easier for small fires to take hold and spread.

South Yorkshire Fire Service has called on members of the public to be their ‘eyes and ears’ and report yobs responsible for starting fires maliciously - and now police chiefs are echoing their calls.

A South Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said: “Deliberate arson attacks carry significant punishment from the courts, especially in cases where people’s lives and safety have been placed in jeopardy. “These pointless and dangerous acts of vandalism will not be tolerated and offenders caught setting fires will be arrested and face criminal charges.

n Anyone with information should call South Yorkshire Police on 0114 220 2020 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.