WITH long, hot summer days ahead of us, the Federal Government has launched its police strike force dedicated to preventing and investigating bushfires lit by arsonists.
Deputy Premier and Police Minister Liza Harvey said in the 2015-16 bushfire season Strike Force Vulcan officers attended on average more than one fire a day across Perth.
“West Australians have recently seen the devastation and tragedy caused by out-of-control fires and the last thing authorities need to be dealing with is deliberately lit blazes,” she said.
Ms Harvey said Strike Force Vulcan would fight arsonists by using covert cameras to conduct surveillance on identified bushfire arson hot spots, patrol identified hot spots and target known arsonists using overt and covert means in collaboration with local policing teams.
“Police will be conducting a lot of work targeting arson but we also want members of the community to be vigilant and immediately report suspicious behaviour,” she said.
Emergency Services Minister Joe Francis said firefighters put their lives on the line to protect the publicy from deliberately lit fires.
“These men and women pledge to protect the community from bushfires that ravage this State, and that job is challenging enough without throwing arson into the mix,” he said.
Mr Francis said parents with children fascinated by fire should consider the Government’s successful Juvenile and Family Fire Awareness Program.
Strike Force Vulcan, was established in 2010 and has resulted in numerous arrests and charges as well as identifying hot spots for arson and preventing fires through intelligence, education and rapid response.