Police treat two farm blazes as linked arson attacks

The two arson attacks are believed to be linked, police have said (Photo: @BurtonFire/Twitter)
The two arson attacks are believed to be linked, police have said (Photo: @BurtonFire/Twitter)

Two farm blazes twenty miles apart from each other are being treated by the police as linked arson attacks.

The first fire occurred at a barn in Little Oxenden, Northamptonshire at around 03:40 BST on Sunday (27 September).

The second blaze involved a 'large quantity of hay bales deliberately set on fire' at a farm in Orlingbury Road, Hannington, at about 17:30 on the same day.

Northamptonshire Police's rural crime team said the farmers had been left 'heartbroken' after the incident.

(Photo: @BurtonFire/Twitter)
(Photo: @BurtonFire/Twitter)

"Anyone with information regarding these incidents, please make contact," PC Hutch Hutchings said in a tweet.

"The long term destruction and loss for the farmer following this is heartbreaking for them."

How do I reduce the risk of an arson attack?

Whilst arson attacks on farms and small holdings may be difficult to eliminate, the NFU has a number of precautions that can substantially reduce the risk:

• Remove hay and straw from fields as soon as possible after harvesting

• Store bales separately from buildings, machinery and chemicals

• Make stacks a reasonable size and space them at least 10 metres apart

• Site stacks away from paths and rights of way

• Keep petrol, diesel and other fuels (including gas cylinders) stored in secure areas

• Keep fertilisers and pesticides under lock and key

• Dispose of refuse safely on a regular basis

• Ensure fences and gates are in good condition and check them regularly

• Install intruder sensors and security lighting

• Prepare a fire routine and action plan and make sure all farm staff know what to do

• If a fire breaks out, call the fire and rescue service without delay.