- Public urged to report suspicious activity
- Significant penalties for arson including life imprisonment
The McGowan Government has launched its annual bushfire police taskforce to target firebugs this bushfire season.
Police Minister Paul Papalia and Emergency Services Minister Reece Whitby today spoke at the scene of several deliberately lit fires last year in Kings Park, urging the public to remain vigilant.
Strike Force Vulcan will operate seven days a week over the duration of the bushfire season with officers carrying out proactive patrols of bushfire hot spots and maintaining overt and covert surveillance on known firebugs.
In the event of a bushfire outbreak, Strike Force Vulcan officers will be given special priority clearance on the roads to provide a rapid response and maximise investigative opportunities.
There are serious penalties for deliberately lighting a bushfire including life imprisonment if property is damaged or destroyed.
Rewards of up to $50,000 are offered for information which helps catch an arsonist.
Strike Force Vulcan will operate from November to April.
Comments attributed to Police Minister Paul Papalia:
"Summer is always a busy time for our firefighters and the last thing they need is lives and properties put at risk because of the reckless actions of arsonists.
"Bushfires are devastating, affect the community and can tie up valuable resources.
"Our police will be watching, but we also need the community to be the eyes and ears in the suburbs and report any suspicious activity."
Comments attributed to Emergency Services Minister Reece Whitby:
"Our career and volunteer firefighters do a terrific job protecting our State, but their work is tough enough without battling deliberately lit fires.
"This is dangerous criminal behaviour that can destroy whole communities. The ripple effect from a catastrophic bushfire can last for years.
"I would urge anybody who sees anything suspicious or who has any information that could help catch an arsonist to contact police."
Police Minister's office - 6552 5600
Emergency Services Minister's office - 6552 6300