19 Dec 2012

Dozens of suspected arsons in east Auckland

5:26 pm on 19 December 2012

Suspicious fires are continuing to plague east Auckland suburbs as police and firefighters investigate dozens of cases of suspected arson.

Four deliberately lit fires in one recent weekend are believed to be linked to more than 30 suspicious fires in the past few months.

Fire risk management officer Phil Faidley said parks, sportsgrounds, schools and businesses have been targeted and it's fortunate no one has been injured in any of the fires.

"They are a concern for us in that they might escalate."

Mr Faidley said the public should report any suspicious activity.

Community board fed up

An east Auckland local community board says it's fed up with the arson attacks and is doing everything it can to catch the culprits.

The latest fires were lit in Howick, Pakuranga, and Bucklands Beach.

The Howick local board's community safety representative, Jim Donald, says someone in the community must know who's behind the attacks.

Mr Donald says funding has recently been granted to install CCTV cameras in the community.

Schools targeted

The president of the Howick-Pakuranga Principals' Association, Deidre Alderson, says schools have been the target of 16 of the arson attacks - more than half.

She says Bucklands Beach Primary School escaped major damage to its library when a resident called firefighters about people lurking in the school grounds.

Ms Alderson says the community has been asked to work together to prevent any more fires.