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Can You Help Police Catch Heathland Fire-raisers?

Published on: 25 Apr, 2015
Updated on: 29 Apr, 2015

Surrey police badge 2aSurrey Police are appealing for the public’s help to catch those responsible for a number of fires across the county over the last week.

Officers are working closely with Surrey Fire and Rescue to investigate a number of fires, including a fire which was believed to have been started deliberately in Ash Hill Road, Ash on Tuesday (21 April).

Police are also investigating a suspicious fire on Ashtead Common, off Kingston Road, in Leatherhead which broke out shortly after midnight on Monday, April 20.

There were no reports of any injuries and the fire was attended and put out by Surrey Fire and Rescue Service. A further heathland fire occurred at Frensham Common off Old Frensham Road at around 3.20pm on Tuesday, April 21 but police are not treating this as suspicious.

An investigation is underway following a fire on the Pirbright ranges around Mytchett Place Road, which broke out around 12-20pm on Wednesday, April 15. A man has been arrested and bailed until May 30 pending further enquiries in connection with this incident.

Temporary Detective Chief Inspector Martin Goodwin said: “We want to reassure the public that we are carrying out thorough and robust investigations into these incidents and are determined to catch those responsible and ensure they are brought to justice.

“We are asking for the public to be vigilant and to call us straightaway if they spot anyone acting suspiciously around heath and common land. Starting a fire not only puts people’s lives at risk but also causes significant damage and can have a devastating effect on wildlife in the area.

“As we have seen in recent days, these fires have caused a huge amount of disruption and inconvenience to the local community and have stretched the resources of the emergency services that are called out to respond.”

A spokesman for Surrey Fire and Rescue Service said: “The wildfires over the past week have caused a lot of disruption and badly damaged some of Surrey’s countryside.

“We’d like to make sure people stay safe and protect our countryside by ensuring all cigarettes and other smoking materials are fully extinguished, only use barbecues in suitable areas and never leave them unattended, don’t leave bottle or glass in woodlands and avoid lighting open fires in the countryside.

“We’d also urge anybody who spots a fire to dial 999 immediately and report it to the Fire and Rescue Service, do not try and tackle it if it cannot be put out with a bucket of water.”

Surrey Police are asking anyone with information to call them on 101 quoting reference 45150030797 or by using the online reporting system at

Alternatively Crimestoppers can be called anonymously on 0800 555 111.


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