New Arson Czar Is the First in Country; BLAZE TOLL: Ian Charged with Putting Together a County Task Force to Combat Firebugs

Coventry Evening Telegraph (England), April 5, 2007 | Go to article overview

New Arson Czar Is the First in Country; BLAZE TOLL: Ian Charged with Putting Together a County Task Force to Combat Firebugs


Byline: By Steve Evans

WARWICKSHIRE is declaring war on arsonists by appointing a "czar" to take on the fire-raisers.

Nuneaton-based Ian Tonner is the nation's first specially-appointed arson reduction manager - and councils across Britain will be studying the pilot project with interest.

If it proves a success, it could be rolled out across the country.

Mr Tonner will be based at the new Warwickshire Criminal Justice Centre, in Nuneaton, and will be backed up by a team of Warwickshire police officers in a bid to tackle arson incidents, one of the nation's fastest-growing trends.

He said: "My role as the arson reduction manager is to establish links with our partners and work closely with the police to reduce fire-setting and arson across Warwickshire.

"My appointment and positioning at the Justice Centre is the first of its kind in the country and I have been tasked with establishing a County Arson Task Force, which will oversee all aspects of arson within Warwickshire."

Each district in Warwickshire has its own arson forum, dealing with local issues. These will now feed into the overall task force where trends and good practice can be shared.

Mr Tonner said: "Over the past three years, I have worked in Stratford, Warwick and Nuneaton district area risk teams.

"Each area had its own local issues, but they all shared one common problem - small nuisance fires, which links to the increase in nuisance behaviour that the police have also been experiencing. …

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