A 13-year-old boy has been arrested in relation to a house fire in Moree following a three-day arson operation in town.
On Wednesday, February 7 investigators attached to the operation arrested a 13-year-old boy in relation to a house fire in James Street, Moree which occurred in the early hours of December 31, 2017.
The boy was charged with damaging property by fire and was granted strict conditional bail to appear at Moree Children’s Court on March 19.
The arrest was the result of information received from the public during Barwon Local Area Command’s three-day investigation into the 200 deliberately lit fires in and around Moree since early December.
The operation – led by Barwon police together with the State Crime Command Property Crime Arson Unit’s Strike Forve Tronto detectives – was part of Phase 5 of Operation Claymore 2, targeting arson-related offences within Moree.
A significant part of the operation focused on community engagement which included a Town Hall meeting on Monday, February 5 which was attended by 200 residents.
Throughout the three days – Monday to Wednesday, February 5 to 7 – investigators doorknocked more than 600 houses within the fire effected areas.
Barwon police will continue to work through a large volume of information received from the public during those three days. Police are confident this information will lead to further arrests.
For information on bushfires, monitor www.rfs.nsw.gov.au or call the Bush Fire Information Line on 1800 679 737.
Police also remind people that they could face penalties if found responsible for the lighting of fires – accidental or otherwise – including not putting out a fire they have lit.
Penalties relating to bushfires under the NSW Crimes Act, the Rural Fires Act, and Rural Fires Regulation include:
- Damaging property with the intention of endangering life – up to 25 years imprisonment;
- Manslaughter – up to 25 years imprisonment;
- Starting a bushfire and being reckless as to its spread – up to 14 years imprisonment;
- Lighting a fire when a total fire ban is in place – up to 12 months imprisonment and/or a $5500 fine;
- Not putting out a fire that you have lit – up to 12 months imprisonment and/or a $5500 fine;
- Failing to comply with a bush fire hazard reduction notice – up to 12 months imprisonment and/or a $5500 fine;
- Light or use a tobacco product within 15metres of any stack of grain, hay corn, straw or any standing crop, dry grass or stubble field – up to a $5500 fine.
Police are urging anyone with information in relation to this investigation to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page: https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au/ Information you provide will be treated in the strictest of confidence.