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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 June 2007, 08:47 GMT 09:47 UK
Nine out of 10 town fires 'arson'
Nine out of 10 fires in a North East Lincolnshire town are started deliberately, the fire service says.

An anonymous phone line has been set up to combat the 90% of fires in Grimsby which are arson attacks. The national rate is 18%.

Fire officers will call on residents to promote the number - 07940 737141 - which they can call or text to pass on information about arson attacks.

The move is part of a week-long scheme to make Grimsby's streets safer.

Humberside Fire and Rescue Service's Arson Task Force will also be offering free home safety checks and helping to secure wheeled bins to prevent them being used as a means to start house fires.

'Gravely concerned'

The service said bins were often placed against homes and ignited.

Spokesman Glenn Ramsden said arson attacks across Humber had been cut by 50% over the past three years but there was much more work to do.

He said: "We are gravely concerned about the number of arson attacks that we have to deal with on a daily basis.

"Tomorrow and for however long it takes, the Arson Task Force will hit the streets determined to bring the instances of deliberate fire-setting to a halt."

During the Community Safety Week, which starts on Monday, police officers and mascot Billy the Burglar will warn motorists not to leave valuables in their cars.

Residents will be warned about doorstep crime and told about the benefits of Neighbourhood Watch schemes.

And on Thursday children at Wintringham School will take part in a school anti-bullying workshop.

Other events include a community clean up of the Duke of York Gardens in Grimsby and litter picks at schools.

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