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Andrew Mitchell MP meets fire and police authorities about recent arson attacks in Sutton Coldfield

Andrew Mitchell, Sutton’s Member of Parliament, has met with Sgt Phil Butler, West Midlands Arson Task Force Coordinator, and David Hilton, Sutton Coldfield Fire Station Commander, as well as members of Sutton’s police to discuss two recent arson attacks in Sutton Coldfield.

The first, which Mr Mitchell visited last month, occurred in New Hall Valley Country Park where a boardwalk was torched by arsonists. The second was at Sutton’s Parkfield Amateur Football Club.

It was following this second attack that Mr Mitchell set up the meeting with the Arson Task Force.

Following an increase in secondary fires (reportable fires that do not involve property, casualties or rescues) Mr Mitchell was pleased and relieved to hear that the number has now started to decrease and congratulated the police and fire services on the recent improvement.

Andrew Mitchell underlined the importance of the use of physical barriers in sensible places to deter arsonists, as well as the use of ASBOs for re-offenders.

He also discussed the importance of focusing on prevention through increased diligence by members of the public. The peak age of arrest for arson is 15 years old and half of those who offend and are caught live within a few hundred yards of where the attack takes place.

Andrew Mitchell MP said, “I am pleased that the number of arson attacks at schools in the West Midlands has come down in the last few years. There were 50 arson attacks across West Midlands schools in 2003, there are now less than 10.

“I will be keeping in regular contact with the Arson Task Force to ensure that we continue to cut arson attacks in Sutton Coldfield.”

Photo: (L-R) Sgt Phil Butler West Midlands Arson Task Force Coordinator, Phil Loach the North Birmingham Operations Commander, Andrew Mitchell MP, David Hilton Sutton Coldfield Fire Station Commander Sean Tomkins, Watch Commander who also works on the Arson Task Force.

Andrew Mitchell MP meets fire and police authorities about recent arson attacks in Sutton Coldfield

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