As South Australia braces for a long, hot and dry Summer ahead, Crime Stoppers South Australia has again joined forces with Police Credit Union to encourage people living, working and visiting South Australia to be extra vigilant and on the lookout for firebugs during the months ahead.
On the eve of the start of the Fire Danger Season in the Mount Lofty Ranges and Adelaide metropolitan area, Crime Stoppers South Australia chair, Ms Sharon Hanlon, said the Bushfire Arson campaign had been designed to help people understand signs of suspicious behaviour to report.
“The Fire Danger Season can be an anxious time for many, and an arsonist may be practicing in your area. Bushfires can have a catastrophic effect on the community, so if anyone has information on arsonists then they are urged to report it – anonymously if they choose – to Crime Stoppers South Australia,” Ms Hanlon said.
“Arsonists are known to often ignite small fires, practicing their methods before escalating to larger and potentially more devastating bushfires. What may appear to be an insignificant fire may demonstrate an arsonist’s pattern of crime. If this behaviour is left undetected, the arsonist may continue lighting fires, which could lead to devastating results,” she said.
“It is important to pay attention to what is going on around you during the Fire Danger Season, and every time you’re out for a hike, run, drive or picnic, you are encouraged to keep watch for suspicious arson activity.”
What to look out for:
- People acting unusually, or wearing unusual clothing — they just don’t seem to fit. For example, not dressed for a trail walk, looking nervous when you pass.
- If something or someone makes you stop and wonder what’s going on. Try and remember their age, sex, weight, height, hair colour or clothing.
- A vehicle or driver looks out of place; take note of registration number, make, model, colour and any distinguishing features (such as dents, stickers).
- Some arsonists practice with small fires before igniting a larger one, so if you see signs of burnt out spot fires or anything suspicious then it is important to report it.
“It is important for people to know which number to call and why. If someone sees suspicious behaviour currently happening then they should call Police on 131 444, if they see a fire burning then call 000 for fire services, and if they have information about someone who is deliberately lighting fires then they can call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or report online at www.crimestopperssa.com.au ,” Ms Hanlon said.
People can remain anonymous and rewards are available.