WREXHAM suffered the highest number of arson attacks of any area in North Wales last year, it has been revealed.
Figures from North Wales Fire and Rescue Service show that in 2012 there were 371 deliberate fires across the county borough, accounting for just short of 40 per cent of all cases of arson across North Wales.
The fire service confirmed it was the highest figure for any county in the region. It includes 88 arson attacks on cars, which is 58 per cent of the regional total.
Although the figures were down on 2011 when there were 460 deliberate fires, that figure equated to a lesser percentage of 34 per cent of the attacks across North Wales.
And in 2010 there were 338 deliberate fires in the area, which was just 23 per cent of the North Wales total.
The figures were presented to police by community councillor Marc Jones at a meeting of Caia Park Community Council last night. In the past two years Caia Park has been hit by a succession of deliberate attacks.
Cllr Jones, who is also chairman of the community council, said: “The statistics show there is a problem in Wrexham with arson.
“I would suggest it needs more attention from the police and it seems to be a growing problem.”
At the meeting the community council voted in favour of buying its own CCTV camera at a cost of about £5,000, which can be moved around the area, to target the issue of arson and anti-social behaviour.
Smithfield councillor Keith Gregory told the meeting: “It’s arson and it’s everything else and it’s something we need to deal with.”
Sgt Darren Jacks, of North Wales Police, responded by saying: “We need to get these figures in perspective. The statistics show a 19 per cent decrease in Wrexham from 2011 to 2012.
“In February this year there were seven arsons in Queensway.
“Unfortunately we had the murder of Glynis Solmaz in February as well. Although after her death there was no arson in Caia Park and that was partly due to the high visibility policing in the area.
“Michelle Shirley, who is PCSO for Queensway, has put a bid to the arson reduction team for £5,000 for a grant to assist in arson reduction programmes in the area and we’ve increased patrols in target areas.
“She’s also reviewed the position of the current arson reduction camera and it’s been moved to Bryn Hafod.”
In November Dorothy Dudley-Smith, 78, was rushed to hospital after her Ford Fiesta was set alight outside her home on The Orchards, on the outskirts of Caia Park. She later died.