Organisations team up to tackle anti-social behaviour on Dorset's heathlands

Organisations team up to tackle anti-social behaviour on Dorset's heathlands

PROTECTION: Firefighters dampen hotspots at the scene of a heath fire on Ham Common

CARE: Gaynor Mant, community safety education officer at Dorset Fire and Rescue Service

First published in News by

DORSET Police have joined forces with the Urban Heaths Partnership to crack down on crime on the county’s heathland.

Officers are working alongside the partner agencies, including Dorset Fire and Rescue Service and Dorset Wildlife Trust, to cut down on the level of anti-social behaviour, theft and fire damage on heathlands.

Residents are being reminded to be alert and proactive in reporting any suspicious behaviour, fires, or other damage caused by accident, recklessness or arson.

This year marks the 15th year of Operation Heathland, running from March 31 and September 28, 2014, which last year saw the number of heath fires fall from 163 in 2011, to 111 in 2013.

Dorset Police also says that the total amount of heathland damaged by fire was significantly reduced from 71.1 hectares in 2011, to 12.8 hectares in 2013.

Police Sergeant Adrian Thompson, said: “Operation Heathland will see high-visibility police patrols across the heathland areas in Poole, Bournemouth, East Dorset and Purbeck to reduce instances of malicious fires, damage from fire, damage from vehicles, theft of items from the heath and wildlife offences.

He added: “Anyone caught starting a fire on a heath will be prosecuted.

“Fires on heathlands not only cause irreparable damage to endangered plants and animals, but they also put people living nearby in danger.”

Gaynor Mant, community safety education officer at Dorset Fire and Rescue Service, said: “I cannot stress enough how important it is to take extra care when enjoying our heaths and open areas.

“If you are a smoker, extinguish cigarettes fully before disposing of them. Never ever just throw them lit. The result could be 50 or 100 firefighters tackling the subsequent blaze.”

Members of the community who could help protect Dorset’s heathland by signing up to a Heath Watch in their area, should call 01202 642787, email Urbanheaths@dorsetcc.gov.uk or visit the Community Heath Watch – Dorset Facebook page.

Anyone with information about suspicious activity or fires on the heath should call 999 in an emergency or Dorset Police’s non-urgent number on 101.

Comments (8)

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10:27am Sat 19 Apr 14

Frank28 says...

People who use their vehicles to damage protected land or Crown land can expect an on-the-spot fine of £50, along with a 1 year warning, that if they cause damage or nuisance again, they will forfeit their cars. The Police have been issuing tickets in various parts of the New Forest recently.
People who use their vehicles to damage protected land or Crown land can expect an on-the-spot fine of £50, along with a 1 year warning, that if they cause damage or nuisance again, they will forfeit their cars. The Police have been issuing tickets in various parts of the New Forest recently. Frank28
  • Score: 7

10:43am Sat 19 Apr 14

Afterhours says...

Well here's a "radical solution" build a new town on the area......the whole country needs housing ....we have plenty " green and pleasant land" !
Well here's a "radical solution" build a new town on the area......the whole country needs housing ....we have plenty " green and pleasant land" ! Afterhours
  • Score: -14

11:35am Sat 19 Apr 14

elite50 says...

Afterhours wrote:
Well here's a "radical solution" build a new town on the area......the whole country needs housing ....we have plenty " green and pleasant land" !
I don't know if you have been for a drive around this area lately but if you have you may have noticed how busy the roads are.
Just about the last thing we need is another slum, housing people like you.
We would like to keep what is left of our "green and pleasant land"!
[quote][p][bold]Afterhours[/bold] wrote: Well here's a "radical solution" build a new town on the area......the whole country needs housing ....we have plenty " green and pleasant land" ![/p][/quote]I don't know if you have been for a drive around this area lately but if you have you may have noticed how busy the roads are. Just about the last thing we need is another slum, housing people like you. We would like to keep what is left of our "green and pleasant land"! elite50
  • Score: 4

11:56am Sat 19 Apr 14

Mamma Troll says...

thats if you catch them, a very big IF
thats if you catch them, a very big IF Mamma Troll
  • Score: 2

12:03pm Sat 19 Apr 14

Hurn08 says...

Frank28 wrote:
People who use their vehicles to damage protected land or Crown land can expect an on-the-spot fine of £50, along with a 1 year warning, that if they cause damage or nuisance again, they will forfeit their cars. The Police have been issuing tickets in various parts of the New Forest recently.
The conservationists from the ARC Trust regularly drive their Land Rovers and other heavy machinery across the heathland, causing massive damage to it.
They NEVER actually repair the damage their vehicles cause either and just leave huge gouges in the land, but hey, so long as they get to cut some trees down that's all that matters to them.
These are supposed to be the very people looking after the heathland, not destroying it.
[quote][p][bold]Frank28[/bold] wrote: People who use their vehicles to damage protected land or Crown land can expect an on-the-spot fine of £50, along with a 1 year warning, that if they cause damage or nuisance again, they will forfeit their cars. The Police have been issuing tickets in various parts of the New Forest recently.[/p][/quote]The conservationists from the ARC Trust regularly drive their Land Rovers and other heavy machinery across the heathland, causing massive damage to it. They NEVER actually repair the damage their vehicles cause either and just leave huge gouges in the land, but hey, so long as they get to cut some trees down that's all that matters to them. These are supposed to be the very people looking after the heathland, not destroying it. Hurn08
  • Score: 4

1:15pm Sat 19 Apr 14

elfinia says...

Whoever suggested building houses on the Heath doesn't realise that this was the cause of the problem in the first place. I remember the Heaths burning when I was a very young child and before they decided to build on the Heath at Canford. The acid peaty soil supports woody plants like heather and gorse which easily burn when the areas dry out in the summer. Just a piece of glass is enough to focus the rays of the sun. The dry heath acts like tinder. To build houses on this kind of fire trap was always risky and ,in my opinion, greedy and reckless.
Whoever suggested building houses on the Heath doesn't realise that this was the cause of the problem in the first place. I remember the Heaths burning when I was a very young child and before they decided to build on the Heath at Canford. The acid peaty soil supports woody plants like heather and gorse which easily burn when the areas dry out in the summer. Just a piece of glass is enough to focus the rays of the sun. The dry heath acts like tinder. To build houses on this kind of fire trap was always risky and ,in my opinion, greedy and reckless. elfinia
  • Score: 1

1:41pm Sat 19 Apr 14

chrisii1991 says...

Cut school holidays
Cut school holidays chrisii1991
  • Score: 5

6:30pm Sat 19 Apr 14

Morrigan says...

elite50 wrote:
Afterhours wrote:
Well here's a "radical solution" build a new town on the area......the whole country needs housing ....we have plenty " green and pleasant land" !
I don't know if you have been for a drive around this area lately but if you have you may have noticed how busy the roads are.
Just about the last thing we need is another slum, housing people like you.
We would like to keep what is left of our "green and pleasant land"!
Nasty and uncalled for comments by elite50! I rather thought Afterhours comments were tongue-in-cheek about the amount of land we are losing at an alarming rate, but I could be wrong ........ however, making personal remarks is out of order and just shows the manner or lack, of the person who makes them :o/
[quote][p][bold]elite50[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Afterhours[/bold] wrote: Well here's a "radical solution" build a new town on the area......the whole country needs housing ....we have plenty " green and pleasant land" ![/p][/quote]I don't know if you have been for a drive around this area lately but if you have you may have noticed how busy the roads are. Just about the last thing we need is another slum, housing people like you. We would like to keep what is left of our "green and pleasant land"![/p][/quote]Nasty and uncalled for comments by elite50! I rather thought Afterhours comments were tongue-in-cheek about the amount of land we are losing at an alarming rate, but I could be wrong ........ however, making personal remarks is out of order and just shows the manner or lack, of the person who makes them :o/ Morrigan
  • Score: 0

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