Police have issued a reminder that arson is a serious offence and that in WA the maximum penalty is life imprisonment as they today announce the launch of Strike Force Vulcan for the ninth bushfire season.
The taskforce will continue through the summer months to the end of March 2019, identifying and monitoring firebugs.
The initiative is made up of a partnership between the WA Police Force, the Department of Fire and Emergency Services and the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, with the aim of reducing and preventing the incidence of bushfires caused by deliberately lit fires or reckless behaviour and indifference.
Minister for Police Michelle Roberts said there's a very high risk of fires at this time of year, and those who deliberately start them deserve to face the full force of the law.
"When people light fires, especially in bushland in Perth's outer suburbs and regional areas they are putting lives at risk," she said.
Members of the public are being called on to assist in protecting the community from the devastation of arson.
Acting Deputy Police Commissioner Gary Budge said, "Without the community providing us information to prevent, deter and investigate we are in trouble. The clear message from the police is that if you see smoke, if you see anything suspicious, you need to ring."
Mr Budge said new technologies and covert operations will allow them to capture more firebugs over this season.
"We will identify vehicles in at risk areas, and we will identify people in at risk areas. The chances of being caught now are far greater than they've ever been, and people will be pursued and charged if the evidence exists."
Anyone with information about bushfires and arson is urged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or report online at www.crimestopperswa.com.au
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Written by: @jordanpieterse