Boys, 10, arrested for fires

JAY BOREHAM
Last updated 17:01 15/03/2013
Clendon Fire
ARRESTS MADE: Two 10-year-olds have been arrested after Sunday's fire at Clendon Park, South Auckland.

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Two 10-year-old boys have been arrested for setting the scrub fire that saw people evacuated from four streets in South Auckland's Clendon Park on Sunday.

Two people were treated for smoke inhalation as 40 firefighters battled to contain a 1400 square metre fire as it swept towards properties.

The children were arrested on Tuesday after members of the public helped police identify them and reconstruct their movements.

Police are unable to charge the two children, Detective Senior Sergeant Dave Pizzini said.

''There is a section in the Crimes Act about nobody being criminally liable for any criminal offences, except for murder and manslaughter, under the age of 14 years.

''But what we can do is we can arrest them because it is a public safety issue,'' Pizzini said.

 Strict criteria under the Children, Young Persons, and Their Families Act 1989 covers when the police can detain a child, he said.

''These boys meet that criteria.

''So on that basis they were arrested and delivered into the care of Child Youth and Family.''

It is too early to say whether the children are linked to the dozens of other fires lit in the Clendon Park this summer.

But police are investigating that possibility, Pizzini said.

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