A report presented to members of the housing and communities committee shows there have been 178 fires started on purpose during the financial year 2023/24 so far – compared to a total of 226 in 2021/22 and 168 in 2022/23.

More than 170 deliberate fires have been recorded in West Dunbartonshire this year alone, according to new figures released by Scottish Fire and Rescue.

Play areas, school grounds and nurseries were among the sites being targeted by fires, it was claimed.

Councillor Oxley was informed that the majority of these incidents involve young people between 11 and 17 years of age.

The officer continued: “I understand that the majority of these incidents involve youths ages between 11, 12 and 17 years of age.

“Whether or not it is the same people involved in anti-social behaviour, I wouldn’t like to comment on that. Every area has different challenges.”

Want to see more SNP fails? – Environmental Matters

Sign up to receive our weekly newsletter and join the fightback against Scottish Nationalism.