Bushfire & Arson awareness roadshow – Morwell

Morwell residents urged to stay alert this bushfire season

Friday, 29 January 2016

The Roadshow is travelling through Victoria raising awareness of the risks of recklessly starting fires and promoting the reporting of arson related activities.

In 2015 Crime Stoppers Victoria commissioned a world-first study into community attitudes about the reporting of arson. Undertaken by a collaborative team led by Dr Janet Stanley (Melbourne University) and Dr Paul Read (Monash University). Preliminary results from the 2015 study revealed:

  • Arson causes more than half of Australia’s bushfires
  • 93% of respondents would report a suspected arsonist regardless of their relationship with the person (incl. reporting of their own children)
  • Individuals responded that reasons for reporting arson include: save lives, protect family, neighbours and community, livestock and pets.

The research includes findings from seven Victorian communities including the Yarra Ranges, Surf Coast, Macedon, Murrindindi, Kinglake, Nillumbik, Whittlesea, La Trobe Valley and Knox.

Crime Stoppers Victoria CEO Samantha Hunter said reporting arson activity can help prevent bushfires and save lives. “Since Victoria’s Black Saturday, community reporting of bushfire arson to Crime Stoppers has increased 290 per cent,” Ms Hunter said. “Each piece of information provided to Crime Stoppers is confidential and is passed directly on to police for their further investigation. These vital pieces of community information can help assist police in identifying persons of interest or quickly eliminating a person from their enquiries. Every call, every online report counts”.

Ms Hunter said the commitment to enhanced community safety is the bottom line. “We’re proud that we’ve successfully integrated strong research with strong community engagement to protect Victorians and prevent bushfires,” she said.

If you think you have information about someone in your community who is deliberately lighting fires or engaging in reckless fire behavior call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 for a confidential conversation or report securely online. In an emergency call 000.

For all media enquiries please contact [email protected].

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