Offcers from a Brexit unit are being used by police in Aberdeen to curb the blight of deliberate fires at a city nature reserve.
A public order unit which was meant to be dedicated to the event of a no-deal Brexit are doing extra patrols around the Gramps.
It is part of new measures being introduced by the police and Aberdeen City Council to stop deliberate blazes being set there.
Fire crews have been called out to five deliberate blazes at the Gramps this year, with another incident just last night raising firefighters’ suspicions.
That fire took place at the Kincorth grassland, and one engine and four firefighters were sent out at 5pm to tackle the blaze. It was extinguished by 5.38pm,
According to a police spokesman, the fire brigade believe it was a “wilful fire”.
Another fire last week led to smoke being seen across the city.
PC Andrew Howes revealed measures were being put in place to try to curb antisocial behaviour at the beauty spot.
He said: “George Nixon (community detective sergeant) has asked for the police dogs to go out there a bit more if they are free so the officers can go with the dogs to have a sniff about.
“We’ve also got a Brexit unit, which is a reserved force, and are public order people who will go for walks around there when they are free.
“We are trying to have a few more folk helping us out there, having a walk around and make sure there is nobody going about.”
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He added: “If they are not here, the kids are up there so that is what we are trying to do for the Gramps.”
Worried Kincorth residents described seeing youths head up to the Gramps on Friday and Saturday nights.
They were told to report any concerns to the local police.
The nature reserve has long been plagued by firebugs, with emergency services often called during the summer to battle blazes caused deliberately.
Police have appealed for information for all the incidents this year.
Kincorth, Nigg and Cove councillor Sarah Duncan described how outreach work was being done in local schools to raise awareness of this problem.
She said: “Lots of investigations are ongoing into them as well.
“I think it is everybody’s responsibility – if you see something suspicious just tell somebody, either through 101 or if you see a fire, then dial 999 and they will send the fire service out.
“People need to take litter away and keep an eye out for fly-tipping as well, anything that can fuel the fire we need to make sure isn’t lying around.”
Police confirmed inquiries were ongoing into the incidents.
Sergeant Kevin Souter, of Nigg Police Station, said: “You can contact police by calling 101, quoting incident 0859 of January 12 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”