Seven call-outs in just one day
Extra police and community wardens will be out in Westburn after thugs caused seven fires in just one day in the area.
Officers at the Scottish Fire and Rescue Centre in Clydesmill say kids are setting fire to rubbish that has been illegally dumped in the area.
Extra police and community wardens will be out in Westburn after yobs caused seven fires in just one day in the area.
The Reformer reported last week that one blaze sent plumes of black smoke over the Cambuslang area on Sunday, May 7.
Scottish Fire and Rescue have now revealed another half dozen incidents took place nearby that day.
They met with their colleagues at Police Scotland and South Lanarkshire Council last week to discuss the issue.
The worst affected area is the vacant section of land to the north of Westburn Road.
It is believed illegal dumping is taking place in the area with kids then setting fire to the piles.
Robert Deans, station manager at the Clydesmill Fire Station, warned both the illegal dumping and fireraising was putting lives at risk.
He said: “We are talking about two appliances going to each incident with 10 firefighters, which is a significant resource and cost for Scottish Fire and Rescue.
“I don’t believe the dumping and fires are related. You would not dump rubbish and then draw attention to it by setting fire to it. The dumping is taking place and then the kids are setting fire to it.
“Those responsible for the fires are putting themselves in danger. They do not know what is in that rubbish.
“If there is heavy black smoke then it could be toxic and the fire could spread very quickly.
“Seven call-outs is an exceptionally high number.”
Officers at South Lanarkshire Council are working to establish who owns the land so they can make it more secure.
Daniel Lowe, executive director of housing and technical resources, said: “South Lanarkshire Council’s community wardens are aware of several incidents of deliberate fire raising within the Westburn area and have responded with additional targeted patrols in the area to assist in tackling this anti-social behaviour.
“South Lanarkshire Council is working closely with its partners in Scottish Fire and Rescue and Police Scotland to ensure communities are safe and, if identified, will deal robustly with those responsible for such anti-social behaviour.”
A spokesman for Rutherglen police confirmed they were aware of the problems at Westburn.
They said: “Police Scotland are currently involved with a number of agencies to address the recent wilful fire-raising incidents at Westburn. A multi-agency partner meeting has taken place, and we will be working closely with Scottish Fire and Rescue, South Lanarkshire Council and their Land Services division to address the issue.
“Wilful fire-raising is a crime, even if it is rubbish which is being set alight. I would ask that parents educate their children in this regard, and we will reinforce the message with a series of visits to local schools.
“Extra patrols are now in place in the vicinity. Members of the public are asked to report any suspicious activity to Police 101, any instances of dumping to South Lanarkshire Council, and any fires to 999.”
If there is heavy black smoke then it could be toxic
WarningStation manager Robert Deans says lives are being put at risk in the Westburn area because of deliberate fires