NEW figures have shown an alarming increase in the number of fires attended by local fire crews.
Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service were called out to 4,388 fires in 2018-19, 442 more than in the previous year. This constitutes an 11 per cent increasecompared to the 3,946 reported in 2017-18. The overall number of callouts in Hampshire also increased with firefighters responding to more false alarms.
The situation across the county mirrors the national picture with fire and rescue services in England having attended 183,000 fires in 2018-19 –a nine per cent increase on the previous year.
The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has warned that services are under pressure and voiced concern that ‘massive cuts’ have led to a significant increase in fires across England.
Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said: ‘We are deeply concerned that massive cuts has resulted in a significant increase in fires.’