Suspected arsonists are causing thousands of pounds worth of damage and putting lives at risk by setting fire to street litter bins.
Vandals damaged or set fire to about 15 litter bins so far this year. That’s almost as many as those destroyed during the whole of 2021.
In the past few weeks, bins in or near Haverstoe Park, Sidney Park, Cleethorpes Country Park, Cleethorpes Leisure Centre car park and at bus stops in Grimsby town centre have been targeted.
In another incident, several household wheelie bins full or rubbish and recycling were dragged to Grant Thorold Park and set alight near a children’s play area.
All incidents are reported to the police. If you have information about any of these incidents, please contact Humberside Police on the 101 non-emergency number and quote the reference number 22000018420.
The cost of removing and replacing or repairing a damaged bin and reinstating its foundations can be as much as £900 each time.
On rare occasions, a cigarette may start a fire in a bin, but council officers suspect these fires are deliberate.
If you are a smoker, please make sure you stub out your cigarette ends fully before putting them in the bin.
Cllr Stewart Swinburn, portfolio holder for Environment and Transport, said:
“It’s deeply concerning to think that someone would deliberately set fire to a bin, even worse that someone would drag bins to a park and set fire to them there. Who does something like that?
“Arson is a serious offence and puts lives at risk. The smoke can contain all sorts of toxins and hazardous fumes.
“Someone must know who committed these offences. If you have information about the bin fires, please contact the police.”
Neighbourhood Policing Inspector Steven Peck said:
“The consequences of arson can be extremely serious and I would appeal for anyone seeing anything suspicious in the area to come forward.
“We will not tolerate any kind of behaviour which puts our communities at risk. We are working closely with our partners in Humberside Fire and Rescue, North East Lincolnshire Council and other key agencies to tackle and prevent this kind of offending and will deal robustly with those found to be involved.”
As well as the bin fires, last week part of the new fence at the Cleethorpes Cemetery extension was damaged and last month vandals damaged fencing, posts and a gate in Haverstoe Park, but most concerning was the ripping off of the bark of a mature tree. Damaging trees in this way leaves them open to infections that could ultimately kill them.