ARSONISTS have been put on notice this fire season with Strike Force Vulcan (SFV), a collaboration of the WA Police arson squad and DFES specialist investigators, commencing operation last Friday, December 1.
In a Strike Force Vulcan first, four DFES staff who are qualified bushfire investigators will work within the WA Police arson squad office as part of the SFV team.
The SFV team identifies and monitors arsonists, provides high visibility patrols and delivers a rapid investigative response to deliberately lit bushfires.
This bushfire season, SFV will investigate suspicious bushfire activity across the state utilising overt and covert strategies to identify and apprehend arsonists.
“Bushfire arson is a serious offence and in Western Australia the maximum penalty is 20 years imprisonment. You will never know if police are watching until it’s too late,” said detective Senior Sergeant Tom Tristram, officer-in-charge of the WA Police arson squad.
“If you light a fire in bushland, you risk going to jail for 20 years. Lighting a fire of any size can cause the fire to spread rapidly and have severe consequences to the community.
“Fire is unpredictable, as well as dealing with adult arsonists, Strike Force Vulcan intervenes in a number of bushfires caused by children and teenagers who were playing with fire.
We strongly encourage parents to talk with their children about the dangers of fire.’’
Deliberate fires place an enormous financial burden on the community and on both local and state governments. Bushfires have the potential to kill and injure people and animals, destroy homes and animal habitats with long lasting ramifications.
The WA public play a huge role in assisting SFV officers investigating bushfires and the information they provide is important. Police urge anyone with information to come forward to help protect the community from the devastation that deliberately lit bushfires can cause.
There are significant rewards on offer for information that leads to the identification and conviction of an arsonist.
All Western Australians are urged to prepare their home and property for this bushfire season. For more information, visit here.
• In a life threatening emergency, including where smoke can be seen in bushland areas, call 000.
• To report suspicious activity call 131 444.
• Anyone with information regarding bushfires and arsonists is urged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or make a report online here.