THE number of deliberate fires set in West Dunbartonshire is at its lowest in five years according to the latest report from Scottish Fire and Rescue. 

A total of 27 deliberate fires were recorded in 2023/24 compared to 90 and 73 in 2022/23 and 2021/22.

In 2019/20 and 2020/21 there were 55 and 77 deliberate fires set respectively for each year. 

The local Fire and Rescue Service has developed a list of “priorities and objectives” within West Dunbartonshire for the local authority to scrutinise which includes counting the number of deliberate fires set in each ward.

During the most recent housing and communities meeting councillors were happy with the overall statistics but concerns were raised about the number of incidents in the Leven ward. 

The report also revealed that of the 27 fires, nine took place in Leven, seven Dumbarton, five Lomond, three Clydebank Waterfront, two Kilpatrick and one Clydebank Central.

Leven councillor and depute leader of the council, Michelle McGinty, said: “I am looking at the figures for deliberate fire by ward and I can see that we have done really well.

“The numbers seem to be down this year apart from in the Leven ward. The reason I am highlighting that is because in the last couple of reports the Leven ward was somewhere we were making a significant difference in fire raising.

“I had actually asked if we could have learned lessons from that but it has done an about turn and we have seen it rising again.

“Do we have any idea if it’s an individual or a number of people [setting deliberate fires.]

"Is this something that we think we can go back and eradicate because everywhere else there is a massive reduction.”

A spokesperson for Fire and Rescue Scotland said that eradicating deliberate fire setting was not a possibility.

He said: “We have done a lot of proactive work and we will move our resources accordingly.

"We’ve got community engagement with our local fire station and action team.

“We will look at getting back and finding out what deliberate fires have been set.

"From the top of my knowledge it is a couple of second delivery bin fires so we will get that checked out and move our resources to try and address that.”