21/04/2015

11-Year-Old Arrested In Connection With Wild Fires

South Wales Police have arrested a number of children, one as young as 11, in connection with grass fires across the Rhondda valley, which has suffered more grass fires than any other south Wales area.

South Wales Police Deputy Chief Constable Matt Jukes, has promised to take "robust action wherever possible" against those responsible for deliberately setting the fires.

Visiting Porth, Mr Jukes revealed that four youths aged between 12 and 14 were arrested in Maerdy on Sunday and an 11-year-old boy was arrested in Taff.

"I have come to see for myself the devastation that these fires are causing and I can see that it is only a matter of time before somebody gets seriously injured or even killed," Mr Jukes.

"What is most concerning is that we believe that many of these grass fires are being cause by children. This must be addressed and everybody can do their bit in the community. Teachers, neighbours, shop owners, but most importantly parents or carers have a role to play and can make a stand against this recurring problem.

"The public are our eyes and ears and we need their support and vigilance to prevent grassfires and any subsequent damage, but also to ensure those responsible are arrested and prosecuted."

Mr Jukes urged people to look out for tell tale signs of intent to commit arson – clothes smelling of smoke; marked skin; and missing lighters, matches or accelerants are all possible signs.

Anyone who believes they have information about deliberate grass fires is urged to contact South Wales Police via 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

(MH/CD)

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