With summer just days away, the Liberal National Government has launched its police strike force dedicated to preventing and investigating bushfires lit by arsonists.
Deputy Premier and Police Minister Liza Harvey said in the 2015-16 bushfire season Strike Force Vulcan officers attended on average more than one fire a day across Perth.
"West Australians have recently seen the devastation and tragedy caused by out-of-control fires and the last thing authorities need to be dealing with is deliberately lit blazes," Ms Harvey said.
The Deputy Premier said Strike Force 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.
"Police will be conducting a lot of work targeting arson but we also want members of the community to be vigilant and immediately report suspicious behaviour," she said.
Emergency Services Minister Joe Francis said 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," Mr Francis said.
The Minister 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 2015-16, Strike Force Vulcan officers attended 164 fire over four months
In 2015-16, 539 Perth bushfires out of a total of 631 were suspicious (85%)
Deputy Premier and Police Minister's office - 6552 5900
Emergency Services Minister's office - 6552 6500