South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue have shared how the spike has been seen over the past two weeks especially - but that locals should be ‘assured’ that they will be increasing their presence in the area.
“We’ve seen a significant spike in incidents around Worsbrough over the last two weeks, and - on some occasions - our crews have actually had rocks thrown at them,” said watch manager Craig Huxley - who works within the service’s community safety team across Barnsley.
“This is extremely frustrating for so many reasons.
“Deliberate fires tie up our crews, damage local landscapes and put people at risk - whilst throwing rocks at firefighters, is absolutely appalling.
“We are a service dedicated to helping the public and attacking staff from any blue light service is totally unacceptable.
“However, local people should be assured that we will be increasing our presence in the local area and are working with our partner agencies in an attempt to tackle this issue.
“We are particularly keen that anyone who knows anything about these fires lets us know, via our anonymous FireStoppers service, on 0800 169 5558 or online at firestoppersreport.co.uk.”
Coun Jake Lodge has also raised his concerns around the increase in deliberate fires in recent weeks - and says he has tried to reach out to services for more help in tackling the issue which haven’t solved the problem so far.
‘’I was frustrated to learn that there have been several fires set across Worsbrough recently - these have increased in size and location in recent weeks.
“They are becoming much more dangerous and causing a threat to people and their homes, I have spoken to South Yorkshire Police, and I am assured that additional patrols will be undertaken.
“However, we need to tough action to curb these arson attacks.
“In Worsbrough I have requested and had support from our youth support services and the local community.
“This hasn’t worked, so we need to ensure that the perpetrators face consequences, which match the seriousness of the offence they are committing.’’
Worsbrough tops the list in Barnsley’s Violence Reduction Action Plan - which lists priorities for police, council and safeguarding bosses - and has been tasked with identifying areas where violence is prevalent .
It was just weeks ago when the area’s violence and antisocial behaviour issues - more concentrated in Bank End - were believed to have been improving after targeted police work.
The downward turn behaviour seen in recent weeks has reportedly resulted in not only a rise in fires and antisocial behaviour - but also a worsening in the seriousness of incidents.