Patrols to cut Woodbury Common arson attacks

Firefighters hoping stepping up patrols on Woodbury Common will cut arson attacks during the summer months. Project Hawkeye is an arson reduction programme for the area.

Firefighters are to take to Woodbury Common on mountain bikes in a bid to crackdown on arson attacks.

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service and its partners tomorrow (Wednesday) re-launch Project Hawkeye - an arson reduction scheme for the Woodbury Common area.

Firefighters from local stations will turn plain-clothes patrols, carrying video cameras to record any evidence of fires started deliberately.

A Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service spokeswoman said: “Due to the prevailing dry conditions and recent deliberately lit fires, firefighters, police, Clinton Devon Estates, Pebblebed Heaths Conservation Trust and the RSPB will be actively monitoring the commons during daytime hours and after dark to discourage would-be arsonists, and to gather evidence when necessary.

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“The mountain bikes enable firefighters to cover large areas of the common very quickly and have proved to be very successful in the past.

“The public are also urged to keep a vigilant eye for suspicious activity and to report any fire as soon as possible.”

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