Crackdown on arson and anti-social behaviour on Wellingborough estate

The launch of Operation Keepsafe
The launch of Operation Keepsafe

An operation to target arson and anti-social behaviour on Wellingborough’s Queensway estate has been launched.

Operation Keepsafe is being run by partners including the joint Arson Task Force (Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service and Northamptonshire Police) and members of the Safer Stronger Neighbourhood Partnership.

Figures show 29 deliberate fires were carried out on the Queensway estate alone during 2017.

Two days of action have been held on April 19 and today (Wednesday) in which teams based themselves in the Kiln Way and Minerva Way areas to speak to residents about any issues.

Surveys were carried out house to house to find out more about areas of concern in Queensway and to pass on information packs including everything from fire safety advice to details about how to report fly-tipped rubbish, and leaflets on how to report incidents anonymously to Crimestoppers.

The community outreach vehicle was also parked in Queensway during both days of action, providing a location where people could ask for advice from police and fire officers.

Arson Task Force officer Andy Evans said: “Deliberate fire setting has been an issue on the Queensway estate in Wellingborough and we are really keen to engage with the public as much as possible, so they understand how arson can be prevented and know where to go to report incidents or suspicious behaviour.

“There are steps that can be taken to help prevent arson from happening, for example in reporting fly-tipping when it happens as too often dumped rubbish can be a target for arsonists.

“A similar operation on the Kingswood estate in Corby in 2015, called Operation Revive, saw a 68 per cent reduction in arson and a significant reduction in anti-social behaviour, so we are hopeful that similarly successful results will be reported following on from Operation Keepsafe.”

Keepsafe also follows on from Operation Restore, which was launched last year on Wellingborough’s Hemmingwell estate.

The safety information packs have been compiled by members of Teamwork Trust, a charity working with adults with mental health needs, learning and physical disabilities.

The operation will continue, beyond the days of action already held, with ongoing work including the promotion of Fearless in schools, which is a dedicated youth service run by Crimestoppers, encouraging the anonymous sharing of information on crime.

To confidentially report fly-tipping in Wellingborough, call Wellingborough Norse on 01933 234520.

To report anti-social behaviour or arson, call 101, or 999 in an emergency.

Information about crimes can be shared anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.