Hot! 13yo charged over Moree house fire; police confident more arrests will follow

A 13-year-old boy was on Wednesday arrested in relation to a house fire in James Street, East Moree, during the early hours of New Year’s Eve.

The arrest was made after Barwon Local Area Command officers received information from the public.

The young person was charged with damage property by fire, and was granted strict conditional bail to appear at Moree Children’s Court on March 19.

The arrest comes on the back of an arson-related charge against an 11-year-old boy in early December during the fourth week of Strike Force Claymore 2.

Barwon Police and detectives from the State Crime Command Property Crime Squad Arson Unit’s Strike Force Tronto have engaged in a three-day operation in Moree targeting arson-related offending within the township during Phase 5 of the strike force.

Since December 2017, emergency services have responded to almost 200 fires in or near Moree.

A significant part of the operation focused on community engagement, including a Town Hall meeting on Monday evening which was attended by 200 residents.

fire001

Firefighters have been called to nearly 200 fires in and around Moree since early December.

During the three-day operation investigators door-knocked more than 600 residences in the fire-affected areas.

Barwon Police will continue to work through a large volume of information received from the public during the three-day operation and are confident information received will lead to further arrests.

For information on bushfires, monitor www.rfs.nsw.gov.au or call the Bush Fire Information Line on 1800 679 737.

Police also remind people that they could face penalties if found responsible for the lighting of fires – accidental or otherwise – as well as penalties for not putting out a fire they have lit.

Penalties relating to bushfires under the NSW Crimes Act, the Rural Fires Act, and Rural Fires Regulation include:

Damaging property with the intention of endangering life – up to 25 years’ imprisonment;

Manslaughter – up to 25 years’ imprisonment;

Starting a bushfire and being reckless as to its spread – up to 14 years’ imprisonment;

Lighting a fire when a total fire ban is in place – up to 12 months’ imprisonment and/or a $5500 fine; Not putting out a fire that you have lit – up to 12 months’ imprisonment and/or a $5500 fine;

Failing to comply with a bush fire hazard reduction notice – up to 12 months’ imprisonment and/or a $5500 fine; and

Light or use a tobacco product within 15metres of any stack of grain, hay corn, straw or any standing crop, dry grass or stubble field – up to a $5500 fine.

Police are urging anyone with information in relation to this investigation to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page: https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au/

 Information provided will be treated in the strictest of confidence. Police remind people they should not report crime information via our social media pages.

Media Release: February 8, 2018