Reward offered to find arsonists who torched large straw stacks
PUBLISHED: 20:55 31 July 2018 | UPDATED: 12:20 02 August 2018
Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service
A Suffolk pig producer is offering a reward for information after arsonists torched four large straw stacks near Bury St Edmunds at the weekend.
The incident happened on land off Mount Road in Rougham on Sunday when four stacks – each containing 260 bales of straw – were set alight.
James Black, managing director of Bacton Pigs, said the company is putting up a £1,000 reward for information leading to prosecution and conviction of the offenders.
The blaze destroyed around 460 tonnes in total and the cost of the damage is estimated to be in the region of between £20,000-£40,000.
Mr Black said: “It is a sad indictment on society that there are such idiots around who would do such a selfish thing.
“In this year when we have seen wild fires spread around the globe, not just in this country, and seen such loss of life, it is incredible that someone would do such a thing for a bit of fun.
“I suspect the perpetrators are going around bragging about what a wonderful spectacle they created and that is why we’re offering the reward.
“Someone is out there who knows something.”
Firefighters were called around 2.20am on Sunday and crews prevented the blaze from spreading to surrounding fields and livestock.
The incident was brought under control by around 4.20am.
“I am so grateful of the work of the fire service and police and what they are doing to get on top of this,” Mr Black said.
“It causes untold damage and potentially puts other people’s lives at risk.”
Mr Black added that this is the second time in eight months that the stacks have been targeted after a similar attack on Christmas Eve last year.
Following the incident on Sunday, Mark Hardingham, Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service chief fire officer, said: “It’s unbelievable that these fires would be started, given the current weather and weeks of crop and field fires.
“We will work with Suffolk police to find the arsonists.”
Anyone who witnessed the incident, saw any suspicious behaviour or has knowledge of the incident, should contact Bury St Edmunds police on 101, quoting crime reference 37/42556/18.
Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111 or via the anonymous online form at crimestoppers-uk.org.