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Sittingbourne teens post bomb clips on YouTube

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A gang of teenagers posted Jackass-style clips of them blowing up homemade bombs on YouTube.

Kent's fire safety chief has now condemned their actions - and called on the video sharing website to take the clips down.

It comes after Kent Fire and Rescue Service was alerted by the Sittingbourne Messenger.

One clip shows teenage boys carrying a bomb made out of aerosol cans through a Sittingbourne estate to woodland in Chalks Pitt.

They are then filmed setting light to the cans, which then explode.

Kent's community safety service delivery manager Charlie Smith said: "Any evidence of the promotion of deliberate fire setting, which is illegal, on video sharing websites is of concern and that's why we will be asking YouTube to take the video down.

"The actions of the boys in the YouTube clip are hugely irresponsible - not only are they putting their own lives at serious risk, they are in effect encouraging others to participate in this crime.

"We often refer to individuals who participate in this type of activity as 'the Jackass kids'.

"They watch stunt shows like Jackass and Dirty Sanchez then do exactly what they are told not to do by the programmes.

"To the viewer, these shows are good fun - but these stunts have been rehearsed, risk assessed and have a safety team on standby.

"There's a world of difference between a polished production and what we've seen in the YouTube clips.

"All it takes is one spark to cause a fire and while our firefighters undergo regular and intensive training, fires started deliberately put everyone's lives at risk.

"There's a reason why these stunts come with a warning and that's the risk they pose to people's health and welfare.

"I should think that the lads in the clip wouldn't find them so amazing if they end up burned and scarred for life by a fire - that's if they survive them."

The penalty of arson with the intent to endanger life is up to 14 years in prison and up to seven years for arson with intent to cause criminal damage and up to £5,000 fine.

Deliberate anti-social fire setting that doesn't endanger life or cause criminal damage can lead to anti-social behaviour orders or community service.

Charlie added: "It's worth noting that in seeking adventure and adrenalin, the consequences of such actions can potentially divert valuable resources away from other incidents such as house fires or road traffic collisions where lives may be in genuine danger."

Sittingbourne Neighbourhood Team's Acting Sergeant Jason Hedges said: "The actions of the people featured in this video are idiotic and irresponsible.

"Whilst they may think they're having fun, it's clear the consequences could have been much more serious.

"Putting lives at risk is no joke and police take incidents like this very seriously.

"The video has been passed to members of the neighbourhood team to see if any action needs to be taken."

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