Police release CCTV images following investigation into suspicious fires

Thursday, 28 October 2021 03:01:26 PM

Police have released CCTV images as part of an investigation into a spate of suspicious fires in Sydney’s west over the past two years.

Last month, Strike Force Tronto – comprising detectives from the Financial Crimes Squad’s Arson Unit – took carriage of the investigation into 29 fires in Western Sydney, between May 2020 and July 2021.

The fires at Doonside, Dean Park, Quakers Hill, Glendenning, Kemps Creek, Rooty Hill and Horsley Park are all believed to have been deliberately lit.

The latest incident to come under investigation occurred just after 4pm on Tuesday (26 October 2021), when emergency services were called to Western Sydney Parklands on Knox Road, Doonside, after reports of three separate fires.

Fire and Rescue NSW attended, and with assistance from NSW Rural Fire Service, extinguished the blazes, that caused damage to 1.3 hectares of bushland.

As the investigation continues, police have today (Thursday 28 October 2021) released CCTV images of a man who may be able to assist with their inquiries in relation to a bushfire at Western Sydney Parklands about 3am on Monday 23 August 2021.

The man is seen walking south on Quakers Hills Parkway, Doonside, about 2.50am on the same day.

Anyone with information about the identity of the man is urged to come forward.

Investigations Coordinator at the Arson Unit, Detective Chief Inspector Richard Puffett, has appealed for public assistance as we head into the bushfire season.

“Fires like we saw at Doonside this week can escalate quickly and move into a situation where property – and human lives – can be put in jeopardy,” Det Ch Insp Puffett said.

“We all saw in the summer of 2019/20 the huge devastation that bushfires can cause. That’s why we need to jump on these offenders as quickly as possible.

“We encourage anyone with information about these fires to come forward and it will be treated in the strictest of confidence.”

Strike Force Tronto was established in 2001 to lead investigations into suspicious or deliberately-lit bushfires which lead to death, serious injury or significant property loss.

“The NSW Police Force compiles profiles on persons as part of the Tronto Targeting Program, in relation to potential bushfire arson,” Det Ch Insp Puffett said.

“During the recent unprecedented ‘Black Summer’ bushfire season, we developed a state-of-the-art digital data search and mapping system that utilises a range of sources and agency information to detect bushfire arsonists.”

Anyone with information that may assist investigators is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report information via NSW Police social media pages.

© State of NSW (NSW Police Force). For editorial use only. No sublicensing of any NSW Police Force supplied image or footage allowed on a standalone basis without the express written consent of NSW Police Force. NSW Police Force attribution notice and logo to be retained on all copies of supplied images or footage with the moral rights to no false attribution and of integrity in all its images and footage asserted.