Bassetlaw has been named as the arson hotspot of Nottinghamshire after “alarming” figures revealed an increase in attacks across the county.
The figures, from the Home Office, show there were 503 deliberate fires in the county from June 2016 to June 2017 – and 77 of these were in Bassetlaw.
The number was nearly double the incidents that were reported in Ashfield during the same timeframe, and well above Mansfield - placing the district at the top of the list for arson rates.
The year before, 393 arson attacks were recorded in Nottinghamshire, meaning an increase of 28 per cent in just one year.
Crew manager Graham Picker, from Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue’s service prevention team, said: “As a service we take deliberate fires extremely seriously.
“Not only do they endanger life, they can also cause serious damage to people’s property and delay our crews when it comes to responding to more serious incidents.
“The service’s prevention team, along with crews from across the county, work hard to follow-up on this type of fire to try and determine the underlying factors behind the incidents and how, through working together, we can prevent such incidents occurring again through joint intervention.”
Dean Gillen, chairman of the Fire Brigades Union’s Nottinghamshire branch, added: “Any increase is alarming, but we do work hard to reduce these numbers down.
“Arson is a complex issue and a lot of factors affect what could be behind the rise.
“It could be an increase in reporting crime for example.”