Safety warning issued after fires lit inside derelict buildings
Inspector Gareth Lougher of West Mercia Police and Robert Allen, Station Commander at Kidderminster Fire Station, part of Hereford and Worcestershire Fire Service, have issued a safety warning after receiving a number of reports about trespassers and fires being lit inside derelict premises.
Between Sunday 24 July and Sunday 3 August we have received a number of reports of fires being lit inside the Glades Leisure Centre and Sion Hill School, both in Kidderminster. Both sites are currently derelict and are extremely dangerous.
Inspector Lougher said: "We are working closely with the District Council and property owners to prevent access by trespassers. The structural safety of these buildings cannot be guaranteed and those who are seemingly intent on gaining access to these sites are placing their lives at risk by doing so.
"From a police perspective, I want to be clear that we will prosecute anyone who commits any criminal offence in relation to the buildings and have enquiries ongoing to identify those who have entered the building.
"Our message is clear, please keep out for your own safety."
Station Commander Rob Allen said: "Reducing arson is always high on our priority list and we regularly work closely with the police, schools and Wyre Forest District Council to help reduce the number of fires being started deliberately. Arson is an extremely serious crime which can have very tragic consequences.
"Everyone can make a contribution to reducing arson. By taking simple steps such as, removing rubbish, reporting abandoned vehicles, fly-tipping or suspicious behaviour and not letting your children carry matches or lighters, a big reduction can be made on incidents of arson."
We would also urge parents to reiterate safety messages to their children, reminding them of the dangers of trespassing and playing on derelict sites.
Anyone who has seen people entering the buildings is urged to call West Mercia Police on 101 quoting incident number 537s of Sunday 14 August.
Alternatively you can contact the anonymous charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or via their website.