Deliberate setting of fires in Peterhead raises concerns

The fire service in Buchan has raised concerns over anti-social behaviour and deliberate fire setting during lockdown – and is seeking to work with the police to tackle problems in the area.

Friday, 30th April 2021, 7:00 am
Firefighters have had to tackle a number of deliberate fires in the area.
Firefighters have had to tackle a number of deliberate fires in the area.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) presented its latest performance report at last week’s Buchan Area Committee.

In the reporting period of October 1 to December 31, 2020, the SFRS recorded a total of 101 incidents in the Buchan area, including 48 false alarms, 22 special service incidents, 14 accidental fires and 13 deliberate fires.

Of the 13 deliberate fires nine occurred in the Peterhead North & Rattray area.

James Logan, of SFRS, said this was something the fire service was keen to address.

He told the committee: “It’s been a bit of an issue during the lockdown period. We understand the kids are getting bored.

"A lot of the fires were insignificant, but they still count towards the statistics and it’s something we want to eliminate through the education programme with the local schools and local academies.

"We are working with Police Scotland on how we report all deliberate fires, and this will help us identify any problem areas and put reduction measures in place.

"The numbers for this quarter compared to previous years are low, but due to the face there’s been a lockdown in place, it has been a bit concerning.”

A total of nine accidental dwelling fires were reported during the period, with incidents caused by unattended cooking and faulty or overheating electrical appliances.

Mr Logan told the committee members that, fortunately, there were no casualties as a result of accidental fires, and there were no fatalities during the period.

Fire crews in the area also attended 22 special service incidents, including nine road traffic collisions, two animal assistance incidents and a hazardous materials incident.

Councillor Iain Sutherland, Peterhead North & Rattray, praised the efforts of the fire service.

He said: “It’s very important that we remember the front line work that is being done because the fire service put themselves at covid risk as well when they are face-to-face dealing with situations, so thank you for the work you have done.”