A film highlighting the consequences of deliberate fire-starting has been launched in Wrexham.
The bi-lingual DVD, titled Burning your Future, was commissioned by North Wales Police and North Wales Fire and Rescue Service and Wrexham County Borough Council as part of an on-going campaign to educate people about the dangers of arson.
For a number of years the Wrexham area has suffered a disproportionally high level of arson incidents compared to other areas in North Wales and nationally.
A multi-agency group involving members of North Wales Police, Wrexham CBC and North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, in conjunction with the community have been working together to understand the issues and develop sustainable solutions.
A shorter version of the film was released on social media in the run-up to Bonfire Night last autumn, but the full film was launched at the Gwersyllt Resource Centre on Friday, February 17.
It will now be distributed to wider audiences including schools and youth organisations.
It features interviews with deliberate fire setters, local victims in the Caia Park area and a lady who sustained serious burns during a fire, as well as officers from North Wales Fire and Rescue Service and North Wales Police.
The film project received additional funding from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and the North Wales Police and Community Trust.
The funding has also allowed the partnership to develop other initiatives including a Crimestoppers media campaign encouraging the community to confidentially share information with the police and an educational and interactive theatre production delivered through Wrexham County Borough Council by the “Cat’s Paw Theatre” to schools, youth groups and other educational establishments.
Superintendent Sian Beck of North Wales Police said: “There is already a significant amount of work and a number of prevention programmes being carried out by partners.
"This is a locally produced film, involving the local community and will be delivered to schools and youth organisations by NWP/NWFRS.
“It is a thought provoking film which is suitable for all ages and will provide educational awareness around the consequences of deliberate fires. The title “Burning Your Future” was chosen after a public competition on social media.”
Paul Scott, Community Safety Manager for Wrexham and Flintshire, North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said: “This film highlights how arson affects communities, and we hope that it will start to get people thinking about this issue and why we need to stamp out deliberate firestarting for good.
“We’re using a number of case studies and the footage has been shot and edited in the Wrexham area, giving the film a real local flavour.
“Deliberate fires have consequences – for the perpetrator, our communities and our emergency services. We hope that this film will help drive home this message and help us to tackle the issue of deliberate firestarting in the Wrexham area.”
Wrexham County Borough Councillor Hugh Jones, Lead Member for Communities and Partnerships, said: “Arson is blight on our communities and an unfair burden on residents who have to face the resultant loss of public amenities or private property.
“Partners in North Wales Police, North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, Wrexham County Borough Council and our communities are hard at work tackling the problem before it starts, and reminding everyone of the potential impact of arson – as noted, we need to stamp this problem out for good.”