500 fire investigations complete as emergency services sign new protocol
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Cleveland Police and Cleveland Fire Brigade have carried out over 500 joint fire investigations in the last five years.
The figures have been released as senior officers from both organisations sign a renewed protocol that details how they will continue to work together to establish the causes of fires, manage the scenes of fire, and take suspicious fires forward.
The framework is important as it ensures the safety of teams that are on scene in the aftermath of a fire and guides forensic officers on the path to take in using scientific techniques.
When Cleveland Fire Brigade has extinguished a blaze, they will make an initial assessment as to the potential causes and if they believe it to be suspicious they will ask for police attendance, and a joint investigation will begin.
Alan Brown, Head of Emergency Response, Cleveland Fire Brigade, said: “Our work with the police is of paramount importance, especially when it comes to identifying the causes of deliberate fires and getting the evidence to help prosecute those responsible. Arson is a blot on the community and will not be tolerated.
“We are delighted that this work continues as we aim to keep our communities safe.”
Assistant Chief Constable Steve Graham from Cleveland Police said: “We have a fantastic working relationship with the fire brigade and each investigation is carried out by highly professional specialists who work to bring each case to an effective conclusion.
“Fire investigations can be complex as teams are dealing with debris and destruction to piece together what happened, so it’s important that we have this clear protocol that guides people safely in their duties.”