Arson incidents on Corby’s Kingswood estate have fallen by almost 60 per cent following the launch of an operation to tackle the issue.
Operation Revive began in October 2015 to help cut arson in the area, and was led by the joint Arson Task Force (Northamptonshire Police and Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service) and the Corby Community Safety Partnership.
Agencies involved in the partnership include Corby Council, Community Payback, Kingswood Neighbourhood Association and the Youth Offending Service.
Statistics show that between January and the end of September 2015, there were 24 deliberate fires in Kingswood.
But during the same period in 2016 there were 10 deliberate fires recorded - a fall of about 58 per cent.
Arson Taskforce coordinator Shaun Johnson said: “We have come a long way in 12 months, with a reduction of just under 60 per cent in deliberate fires.
“I’m grateful for the huge support we have had from partners such as Corby Borough Council, who really got behind this campaign.
“The public living in the area have also clearly taken our messages to heart and have obviously taken on part of the responsibility of protecting their own area by supporting activities such as reporting fly-tipping – which can so easily During the past 12 months, numerous activities have been carried out in the area, including rapid response to reports of fly-tipping, information packs going out and special Take Action weeks in which members of Corby Council and the Arson Task Force went door-to-door to speak to residents about key issues.
Other projects included community litter picks, such as the Clean for the Queen event in March.
The Community Payback team also made environmental improvements, including painting and maintenance to garage doors.
Activities were also provided for young people in the area, included Halloween themed activities at the Kingswood Neighbourhood Centre and a nearby street football project.
Education work was carried out with residents in terms of where and how wheelie bins are stored as these can be a common target for arsonists.
Neighbourhood wardens also supported the operation by investigating instances of fly-tipping on the estate.
Northamptonshire Police provided positive enforcement, resulting in significant action being taken on the estate regarding suspected offenders.
The independent charity Crimestoppers supported the operation by funding Fearless projects carried out at secondary schools in Corby, including the performance of dramas aimed at this age group.
The drama focused on a storyline involving two teenage girls and touched on issues ranging from underage drinking and peer pressure to threats of arson and injury.
Deputy leader of Corby Council, Cllr Jean Addison, said: “Corby Borough Council, as part of the Community Safety Partnership, is committed to creating a safer environment for residents, especially as the darker nights draw in.
“I am extremely pleased to see such great results from Operation Revive and look forward to continuing our partnership work to tackle any further issues that may arise.”