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Parents warned after spate of arsons in Harrogate

North Yorkshire fire and rescue fire engine

3:33pm 7th March 2018

Parents of teenagers in Harrogate are being urged to check where their children are playing after a series of suspected arson attacks in remote locations.

Police have issued the advice after a spate of fires in derelict farm buildings, hay barns and other rural sites off the A61 between Harrogate and Killinghall.

Shop skips outside B&Q on Skipton Road have also been set alight recently.

Police Constable Liz Rutter said:

“Some of the sites are derelict and extremely dangerous – they may be structurally unsafe, they may contain sharp objects or agricultural chemicals and they’re remote, so they’re a long way from help if anyone did get hurt.  We have concerns for the safety of children visiting these premises unsupervised.

“Add deliberate firestarting into the mix, as we believe has happened at a number of these locations recently, and it’s a recipe for disaster.

“We are increasing patrols in the area and we’re working closely with landowners, businesses, the fire brigade and other organisations to reduce their risk of being targeted and catch offenders."

"If you’re a parent, especially of older teenager children, please make sure you know where they’re congregating or playing and what they’re doing.   

“Police officers sometimes have to deal with the aftermath of arson – we see first-hand the horrendous damage it can do to people as well as property.  We ask that parents help us tackle this issue before someone is seriously hurt.”

Ten young people have been interviewed in relation to their suspected involvement with the incidents and enquiries are ongoing.

Anyone who has information about the incidents in the area described is urged to call North Yorkshire Police on 101, select option 2 and ask for Luke Salmons. You can also email PCSO Salmons on Luke.Salmons@northyorkshire.pnn.police.uk

Alternatively, you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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