Number of arson occurrences up so far in 2023 in Windsor

AM800-News-Windsor Police-Baseline Fire

The Windsor Police Service has recorded a spike in arson investigations so far in 2023.

The Windsor Police Services Board met Thursday and received the crime statistics for September.

The numbers show 66 arson occurrences between Jan. 1 and the end of September, compared to the 43 investigated during the same time in 2022.

The figures also show nearly a dozen cases this past September alone.

Constable Chris Renaud, Arson investigator with the Windsor Police Service, says they have been extremely busy this year and also in September.

"So based on memory, I can say this is unique to this time of year to have this volume of fires or arsons that have occurred at this period of time," he says. "Generally speaking, the high volumes would normally have been through the winter."

Renaud says there's no indication of any trends.

"It is more of this is what we're dealing with. There is no evidence at this point that they're connected. Is there an explanation at this stage, I can't say that there is, it could just be a coincidence," he says.

Renaud says arson investigations can be very time consuming.

"We rely on the public for video, for any witness accounts to what may have happened," he says. "So we spend a lot of time out on the scene and on the area of the scene trying to gather evidence. Then the follow-up contacting witnesses or potential witnesses, trying to collect video." 

Investigators ask the public that if you see, hear or witness anything suspicious, please contact police.