Covert cameras and surveillance equipment will be hidden in bushland around the State in a bid to catch arsonists who put the lives of Western Australians at risk.
Police Minister Michelle Roberts and Emergency Services Minister Francis Logan today launched Strike Force Vulcan and warned arsonists they would feel the full weight of the law.
Strike Force Vulcan is the State’s pro-active bushfire arson prevention and response strategy.
The team of detectives will provide high visibility patrols of high risk bushfire areas, target potential arsonists and implement preventative measures.
In the event of a bushfire outbreak, Strike Force Vulcan officers will be given special priority clearance on the roads to provide a rapid response and maximise investigative opportunities.
There are strong laws in place to protect the community from arson including penalties of up to 20 years in jail for deliberately lighting a bushfire and life imprisonment if property is damaged or destroyed.
Strike Force Vulcan will get underway from December 1 and operate until March 31, 2020.
As stated by Police Minister Michelle Roberts:
“Deliberately lighting fires at a time of high bushfire risk is one of the most devastating acts and anyone caught deserves to feel the full force of the law.
“This use of technology puts us one step ahead of these arsonists.
“Arsonists will now never be sure just who might be watching.
“I urge the community to stay alert and report any suspicious behaviour.”
As stated by Emergency Services Minister Francis Logan:
“I would like to congratulate and thank the WA Police on the support they provide our emergency services with Strike Force Vulcan.
“If a bushfire does occur, it’s usually a volunteer firefighter that has to leave their family, friends or work behind to put themselves at risk to protect a community.
“It is appalling to think that they could be needlessly placed in harm’s way because of the deliberate actions of an individual.”