Community help sought to track down arsonists

Community help sought to track down arsonists

More than 50 fires have been reported from Whiteman Park to Gingin since February 1, with arsonists suspected of being responsible for up to 70 per cent, according to the Department of Fire and Emergency Services.

Fire investigations and analysis unit district officer Gary Baxter said fires had been reported almost every night across the region leading up to this week’s heavy rainfall.

‘Based on anecdotal evidence, we believe up to 70 per cent of the fires in the past month have been deliberately lit,’ he said.

‘There’s a lot of deliberate fires lit through misadventure, property theft, concealment of crime through fires and a lot of people setting fire to dumped rubbish.’

He said DFES and WA Police were calling on the public to come forward if they saw any suspicious vehicles or people in these areas.

The police arson squad was investigating all the recent suspect fires.

Ellenbrook Police officer in charge Senior Sergeant John Waghorn said a special dedicated operation had been put together with East Metropolitan police resources, to increase the number of police patrols across the region.

‘We are not sure if we are dealing with a group of individuals or a serial arsonist but if they don’t stop, someone could end up being hurt or killed,’ he said.

‘These types of offences carry significant terms of imprisonment.’