Yet another arson attack in Whittington

Worried Whittington residents believe the latest arson attack in their village was the work of someone who has struck before.

arson attack

Fire and the urge to set one can easily run out of control.

If that is true and it was the work of youngsters their parents have an even greater reason for concern.

Last month the ‘Phoenix’ reported a suspected attempt to burn down a large marquee, on Bit End Field.

Arson attack

The perpetrators drenched piles of wooden tables with an inflammable liquid before putting a match to them.

This time the fire setters torched a plastic picnic bench and badly damaged another one nearby, in Jubiliee Park.

In both cases it is likely that the culprits came away with clothes reeking from the smoke.

Guilty stench

And if they were thrill-seeking youngsters it is also likely a family member noticed the smell when they arrived home.

While it is hard for parents to think their children might be out committing crimes, ignoring the signs of this type behaviour can lead to far worse problems in future.

If the two Whittington offences are connected the person responsible is likely to be feeling bouyed up by having got away with it the first time.

At greater risk

Having done it a second time and not been caught he, or she, could become increasingly likely to keep on setting fires.

And because the consequences of starting even a small fire can be completely unpredictable, the chances of an unintended catastrophe grow rapidly.

Psychologists say arsonists often have profound mental problems.

Mental problems

Youngsters may do it out of anger, stress at home, or even because they have been abused.

Some are found to have pathological problems making them unable to control their impulses.

One clinician said the person who set the Whittington fires was likely to have had a history of playing with fire as a child – a pattern of behaviour the parents would have been aware of.

He said a failure to confront the problem and deal with the underlying causes could lead the person into serious offending in adult life.

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