THREE teenagers were arrested this week following a large-scale proactive operation in response to increased instances of deliberate and suspicious fires on the Mid North Coast.
The operation involving officers from the Mid North Coast Police District, with assistance of the State Crime Command Arson Unit under Strike Force Tronto, was conducted between Monday and Thursday.
On Tuesday, more than 60 local community members attended a meeting at Kempsey council chambers where they discussed the recent fires with police, NSW Rural Fire Service, Fire and Rescue NSW and council.
In response to information provided by the local community, officers arrested three teenagers - aged 12, 13 and 14 - in South Kempsey on Wednesday, in relation to alleged arson offences.
The three girls will be dealt with under the Young Offenders Act for a total of 13 deliberately lit fires across the area.
Sections of grass were predominately damaged by the fires and were extinguished by emergency services. No one was injured.
Investigations into other alleged arson offences are continuing, and further arrests are expected.
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Mid North Coast Police District Commander, Superintendent Paul Fehon, said police will continue to proactively target suspects and investigate all deliberately lit fires with a goal of significantly reducing fire events within the Mid North Coast Police District.
"Deliberately lit fires not only put a strain on emergency services; but can also be life-threatening if they get out of hand," Supt Fehon said.
"I urge the community to help us stop these fires and anyone with information about suspicious activity in the area can contact their local police or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333-000 in confidence."