What is it and is their a community safety link?
Photo courtesy of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service
Arson, fire-raising or fire-setting is the deliberate act of setting fire to property. In
terms of community safety, as well as the loss of property, there is the obvious danger physical danger caused by the criminal act and there is a close link between arson and types of anti social
behaviour associated with vandalism. There is also a close link between
areas prone to arson and crime and drugs misuse hotspots.
work in reducing the incidence of deliberate fire setting has been
undertaken by Fire Services in the UK. This has often been done in
conjunction with local authorities and local Community Safety
Partnerships. From the statistics printed below it will be seen that
arson has rapidly decreased from its high point of 2001-02.
sharp decline in the major type of arson (arson to road vehicles) can
be partly attributed to the increasing scrap value of motor vehicles
(making it less likely that they will be abandoned and therefore subject
to arson). However, the campaigns of Fire Services and local
authorities to remove abandoned vehicles from the streets has
undoubtedly made a significant contribution to this reduction.
In recent years there has been a significant reduction in Fire Service community safety campaigns. The
latest national statistics
shows that time spent on community fire safety campaigns and
initiatives has declined by 9 per cent between 2012-13 and 2013-14.
and Rescue Authorities carried out 67,266 Fire Safety audits in
2013-14 (5per cent of premises known to the authorities). These audits
resulted in over 20,000 informal and formal enforcement actions being
Website of the Arson Control Forum which aims to "...achieve a sustained reduction in the number of deliberate fires and related deaths, injuries and property damage." in the UK.
London Fire Brigade web page
Association of British Insurers 12 point Fire Policy Action plan.
Guide for those responsible for any empty premises. It is aimed at buildings which are temporarily empty and are still seen by the owners as having a viable future. It also provides guidance that may be applied to buildings whose future is less certain.
Guide produced by the UK Arson Prevention Bureau.
Guide Produced by the UK Arson Prevention Bureau
Updated May 2015