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PCC warns public against vandalizing our rural communities

Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall, is warning the public not to vandalise the county’s rural areas.

In the last three months, Cumbria Constabulary have received 17 reports of arson in rural communities across Cumbria. Fires can quickly grow and spread causing destruction to the local environment, businesses, residencies, and lives. 86% of businesses that have a fire never recover and reopen.

Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall, said: “We live in a beautiful, rural county that attracts visitors from all over the world but sadly some people do not appreciate this and actively destroy it.

“Vandalising our rural communities, including arson, can lead to a criminal charge and even end in a conviction.

“I would strongly advise anyone considering breaking the law to think twice and do the right thing as the laws are in place to protect everyone.

“Setting uncontrolled fires is extremely irresponsible and could cost the livelihoods of our many farmers and other rural businesses that rely on our clean and healthy countryside to earn a living and, worst case scenario, an out-of-control fire could cost people their lives.

“I would urge anyone to report any suspicious behaviour to the Police as the public know their community better than anyone and can really help the Police build intelligence.

“For those who do not wish to report to the Police, Crimestoppers is 100% anonymous and can be reached on 0800 555 111.

“It’s not worth the risk – please follow the law and keep our county safe and clean for everyone.”

Cumbria Police’s Rural Crime lead, Chief Inspector Lee Skelton said: “Cumbria is a beautiful place and we continue to work closely with our partners to protect it.

“Any fire, either deliberate or accidental, can easily get out of control, especially in rural settings.

“We take all reports of fires started deliberately seriously and will take action against anyone who is deliberately or carelessly putting lives and the environment at risk.”

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