Farmers urged to help stamp out arson risk

Farmers are urged to take steps against arson EMN-190508-085932001
Farmers are urged to take steps against arson EMN-190508-085932001

NFU East Midlands and Lincolnshire Fire & Rescue have joined forces to urge farmers in the county to take steps to stamp out arson attacks.

The start of the school summer holidays traditionally sparks a spike in reported incidents, with recent scorching weather making for tinderbox conditions.

And with harvest starting, the dangers of deliberately started fires have been brought into sharp focus.

Dan Moss, LF&R group manager of prevention and protection, said: “The unprecedented hot weather and conditions experienced last summer resulted in a significant increase in the number of calls Lincolnshire Fire & Rescue attended related to farming crops and machinery.

“We are keen to work with the NFU and farmers across the county to try and reduce the number of calls this year and the impact these types of incidents have on rural communities.”

The service advises bale stacks should be kept to a minimum size and suitably separated to try and mitigate the potential of fires spreading across large quantities of bales.

If possible, stacks should be kept away from roads, reducing the potential for accidental ignition and making it more difficult for arsonists to target them.

The Arson Task Force will also be carrying out proactive engagement with communities to support risk reduction and can offer further support should it be required.

NFU East Midlands regional director Gordon Corner said: “Sadly, arson attacks on farms at this time of year are not uncommon, and the consequences of these crimes can be devastating for those involved.

“Now is the time to keep extra vigilant and reduce your chances of becoming an arson victim by taking some simple steps.

“We will continue to work closely with Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue and other emergency services to help make rural crime a thing of the past.”