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Police on the trail of woodland firebugs
8:10am Wednesday 9th May 2012 in News
FIREFIGHTERS and police in Romsey are calling on the public to help them combat incidents of arson and anti-social behaviour in the countryside.
This follows several blazes that they believe were started deliberately in Mountbatten Park Woods, off Luzborough Lane.
Crews were called to a fire in grass and bracken and, although this was the first time they had been called out, it was apparent that more fires had been previously lit in the area.
Crew manager, Charlie Turnbull, from Romsey Fire Station, said: “Deliberately-set fires in the open pose a threat to the local nature and place an unnecessary demand on the fire service.
“We are combining forces with the police in the drive to stamp out cases of arson and the local community is also invited to support our mission. “I urge the residents of Romsey to help protect the area in which you all live and work.”
The blaze, which involved a 50m by 50m piece of land, proved difficult to reach and firefighters had to call in a Land-Rover from Eastleigh Fire Station.
Police said they had had a number of reports of problems on the land, which is privately owned, over the Easter period.
In addition to fires, the the owner has informed police of dogs worrying sheep and a number of lambs have been found dead.
Barbed-wire fences have been cut, trees cut down and a wooden wigwam put up .
Police discovered a trampoline that had been burnt out.
Police Ccommunity support officer, Jo Cole, said: “Clearly, a number of people have been involved in all of this. We’d like to hear from anyone who has information."
Anyone who sees someone acting suspiciously should call the police on 999 in an emergency, or dial 101.
The fire service is also asking people if possible to give them information on the size of the fire, the type of terrain, a map reference and best access route and a landmark like a farm or pub to help locate the blaze.