Youths starting fires at Flint Castle 'risking their lives'


Owen Evans

YOUTHS setting deliberate fires at a historic castle could kill themselves, a concerned resident said.

Jack Reece, of Flint, said fires had been started around Flint Castle several times in the past two weeks – and he had seen youngsters spraying blazes with what he believes was petrol.

Mr Reece said while walking his dogs, he saw the fire brigade had to attend the castle on Sunday to put out fires started by youths.

He said: “They could have killed themselves – it won’t be long before they end up setting themselves on fire.

“They were right on top of the fire spraying petrol out of a bottle onto the fire.”

Mr Reece said deliberate fires had been set right next to the 13th century castle, as well as in woodland next to the fort.

He said: “They have really been plaguing the area.

“They have been causing damage to the castle and the woods for a couple of weeks.

“The police and fire service have also put up signs to tell them to stop doing it and that they know who they are.

“Lets hope that when they are dealt with, they learn the dangers of petrol and setting fires and learn some respect for our town’s landmarks and woods.”

A spokesman for North Wales Fire and Rescue Service said they had been called twice on Sunday, once on Thursday, April 24 and once on Monday, April 21.

The North Wales’ Arson Reduction Team has been monitoring an emerging deliberate fire problem in Flint for the past few weeks.

Kevin Jones, the arson reduction team manager for North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Deliberate firesetting incidents put extra pressure on fire and rescue resources and place crews and the public at extra risk. Whilst crews are busy dealing with these incidents they would not be able to meet what may be a real need for them to attend a life threatening situation elsewhere in the county.

“Deliberate fires are a serious form of anti-social behaviour with potentially lethal consequences and we are working closely with the police and other partner agencies in the area to try and tackle the problem.

“I would appeal to anyone with information on such activities to report it to North Wales Police on 101 or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

In the coming weeks, PCSOs will be attending high schools in Flint to deliver messages to pupils.

A spokesman for North Wales Police said: “We were called at 8.31pm on Sunday, May 4, to reports of youths lighting fires at the castle grounds.

“Police visited the scene and there was no signs of any damage.

“There were similar reports at around 6.30pm on Saturday of youths lighting a fire in the grounds of the castle.

“Police found some burnt bits of windfall branches but no damage and no damage to trees.
“No arrests were made.”

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