- WA Police launch the 2015-16 arson operation Vulcan
- Public play crucial role in catching and preventing arsonists
The State Government has launched an operation to target fire bugs and is calling on members of the public to contribute by being the 'eyes and ears' in high-risk arson areas.
Police Minister Liza Harvey said the WA Police-led Operation Vulcan involved arson squad officers proactively working to prevent deliberate bushfires.
"Western Australia has the highest incidence of bushfires in the country so the last thing authorities need is people deliberately lighting fires," Mrs Harvey said.
"Police would be conducting a lot of work targeting arson but we also want members of the community to be vigilant and immediately report suspicious behaviour."
The Minister said Operation Vulcan would fight arsonists by:
- using covert cameras to conduct surveillance on identified bushfire arson hot spots
- targeted patrolling of identified hot spots
- a community awareness campaign
- targeting known arsonists using overt and covert means in collaboration with local policing teams.
Emergency Services Minister Joe Francis said it was hard to comprehend that firefighters put their lives on the line to protect the community from deliberately lit fires.
"These men and women pledge to protect the community from bushfires that ravage this State and that job is challenging enough without throwing arson into the mix," he said.
Mr Francis said parents with children fascinated by fire should consider the Government's extremely successful Juvenile and Family Fire Awareness Program.
Strike Force Vulcan, established in 2010, has resulted in numerous arrests and charges as well as identifying hot spots for arson and preventing fires through intelligence, education and rapid response.
- In the last two bushfire seasons 90% of WA arsonists were boys aged between 9-17
- WA records about 6,500 bushfires each year
- There are rewards for information which leads to an arson conviction
- For more information about the Juvenile and Family Fire Awareness Program, visit http://www.dfes.wa.gov.au/jaffa
Police Minister's office - 6552 5900
Emergency Services Minister's office - 6552 6500