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Media Release

Help your community, catch an arsonist
Monday 1 February 2010 – 9:00 AM

Badgingarra and Cataby residents are urged to be on the look out for arsonists who have started several fires around the Shire of Dandaragan recently.


Dandaragan Community Emergency Services Manager Phillip Hay said members of the public play an important part in protecting themselves and their neighbours.


“I can’t emphasise enough the importance of reporting suspicious behaviour to Crime Stoppers,” Mr Hay said.


“Residents may see something and think nothing of it, but it could be a vital piece of information that helps firefighters and Police put the puzzle together.”


Detective Sergeant David Gorton from the Police Arson Squad said the number of suspiciously lit fires was a concern.


“That’s why we’ve joined forces with FESA and the Shire of Dandaragan to tackle the arson problem by developing a number of strategies” Detective Sergeant Gorton said.


“These strategies have only been successful in other areas because of the support local residents have provided.


“It is through good information from the public that often leads to the apprehension of people lighting fires.


“Anyone with information - no matter how small - should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.


Mr Gorton said tough new arson laws have recently come in to place.


“Arsonists face up to 20 years in prison for lighting a fire that is likely to damage a person or property.


“If an offender wilfully destroys or damages property by fire, the maximum penalty is now life imprisonment.”


“A reward of up to $50 000 is available for information leading to the identification and conviction of people deliberately lighting fires in Western Australia.”


Media Contact: Media and Public Affairs, 9225 5955.


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