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Howard and Byrne Solicitors, York - Criminal Defence Specialists

Farmers in Pocklington and Stamford Bridge Warned to be Vigilant

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1:01pm 28th February 2013

Farmers in the Pocklington and Stamford Bridge areas are being asked to be vigilant after two fires in the area.

Hay bales were set on fire at two locations in the Skirpenbeck area overnight.

Humberside Police say 2 hay bales, 1 of 80 bales and one of 400 were set on fire.  North Yorkshire have had a number in their area as well in recent times, according to Sergeant Pete Rogers, who says:

"We're asking landowners, those working the land and those passing through rural; areas, particularly in the early hours, to be vigilant and report suspicious vehicles and people to Humberside Police on 101 (999 if a crime in progress).

We work closely with the Humberside Fire and Rescue in relation to stack fires and routinely alert our Farm Watch and Vale Watch members locally when offences occur, but everyone can help here.

Humberside Police have this advice for landowners:

1. Assess the risk:

A quick survey round your premises will identify areas where an arsonist could strike.

2. Checklist:

  • Whenever possible, hay and straw should be removed from fields as soon as possible and should be stored separately from other buildings, particularly those housing fuels, agrochemicals and machinery.
  • Petrol, diesel and other fuels should be stored in secure areas and storage tank outlets should be padlocked.
  • Fertilisers and pesticides should be kept under lock and key and refuse disposed of on a regular basis.

If in doubt, contact Humberside Fire and Rescue for advice.

3. If a fire is discovered:

  • Call the Fire Brigade immediately.
  • Send someone to the farm entrance to direct the Fire Brigade on arrival.
  • Prepare to evacuate livestock if any nearby.
  • Identify cylinders or hazards to the Fire Brigade.
  • Identify water supplies to the Fire Brigade.
  • Prepare to use available farm machinery to assist the Fire Brigade if this is requested by them.

Over the years periodic fires to bales hay are reported and often it is believed these are isolated and malicious acts, say Humberside Police.

Advice from Humberside Police's Pete Rogers to walkers and those out and about in the countryside:

"Please be vigilant. If you see anyone acting suspiciously, give the Police a call on 101 or 999 if a crime is in progress. If you safely do so, take details of vehicles or descriptions of those seen. A registration number might identify someone an offender"!

"Police Patrols are fully aware of the situation and are being vigilant and if we all work together we may prevent further offences, detect offences and reduce the potential for a very serious incident to occur".


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