A CLAMPDOWN on deliberate fireraising has been launched.

The move comes amid concerns over the number of incidents being dealt with by fire crews, often caused by young people.

And there are fears the problem will get worse during the summer months, when schools are closed.

Between June and August last year, firefighters attended 293 needless incidents across East Renfrewshire, Renfrewshire and Inverclyde.

This means emergency service crews attended the equivalent of more than four deliberate fires every day.

The figures, released by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS), show the number of incidents soared from the same period in 2020, when 158 deliberate fires were recorded.

These fires were mainly outdoor incidents impacting grasslands and rubbish but also included some involving buildings and vehicles.

The SFRS is urging local parents to play their part by reminding children of the risks involved in wilful fireraising.

Deputy Assistant Chief Officer Alasdair Perry, SFRS head of prevention and protection, said: “Deliberate fire-setting is as needless as it is unacceptable.

“We are proud of our educational and prevention work but it is true that parents, carers and members of the public can help by engaging with young people and laying bare the costs and consequences of starting a fire.

“When a young person deliberately starts a fire, they are risking their safety, their future and the welfare of others.

“Our prevention work will continue but it goes without saying that we take deliberate fire-setting very seriously and will always work with our partners in Police Scotland to identify those responsible.”

The SFRS has also issued a safety warning about the risk of fire in the countryside as more people get out and about during the summer months.

Mr Perry said: “We need people to be aware of how quickly things can get out of hand. Outdoor fires can spread very quickly and cause huge damage to areas of countryside .”