A CRACKDOWN on arson attacks in Blacon, Chester, has been hailed a success by police and prominent councillors.
More than 16 arson attacks on bins in the area were carried out by yobs in October and November, resulting in emergency services being called out and residents’ lives being put at risk.
However, the arson attacks have all but stopped following an operation by the police – helped by the community – and none have been reported for more than a month.
Officers from the Blacon Neighbourhood Policing Team carried out patrols througout December on the Greenway Cycle Path, which links Saughall, Blacon, Newton, Hoole, Upton and Kingsway, in an attempt to tackle anti-social behaviour in the area.
Sgt Ian Wilson, of Blacon Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “We have seen a massive decrease in the number of these crimes over the past month or so.
“For a period of time, the situation was getting out of control but we have managed to address that.
“I think a lot of it was down to the bin change in the area, with people leaving their bins out for long periods, resulting in the temptation for a small group of individuals to set them alight.
“I can’t recall the last time that we had an issue with this and I believe it is a direct result of the work we have been doing in and around Blacon and on the Greeway path during the past month.
“We have served to act as a deterrent to would-be criminals and I think our presence has been felt and has been a driving force behind the reduction in these crimes.”
Paths on the Blacon Nature Park have also been damaged during the yobs’ two month rampage.
Blacon councillor Reggie Jones praised police and members of the community for tackling the problem at its root, highlighting the positive work carried out to eradicate the attacks.
Cllr Jones said: “Since these arson attacks began a couple of months ago, we took steps to engage with police and residents so we could share intelligence and tackle the issue.
“The sharing of information between residents, police and councillors has been extraordinary and has shown you can beat the villains with positive action.
“The police have done an excellent job but the residents have played a huge part. What you have is people who help look out for their community and are its eyes and ears. They have been instrumental in stopping these attacks.”