Newham sees sharp fall in deliberate fires

Deliberate fires across Newham have fallen dramatically by 83 per cent in the last decade, according to London Fire Brigade figures.

Last year the number of deliberate fires in Newham was 466 or around 9 each week. In 2001/2 crews attended 2,766, or on average, 53 deliberate blazes every week. Deliberate fires hit their lowest level in 2010/11 with 417.

Despite the downward trend fire chiefs are urging people to report any abandoned vehicles or rubbish to their local councils and not to store a large amount of combustible materials against their property.

Wayne Brown, the Brigade’s Borough Commander for Newham, said: “The dramatic decrease in deliberate fires means Londoners are a great deal safer from these needless acts of destruction than they were 10 years ago. We have worked incredibly hard with partners, the Police and the council, to bring these figures down and make the capital safer.

“However, we cannot be complacent. If people see an abandoned vehicle or rubbish dumped in the street, they should contact their local council, which will help get it removed so it cannot become a target for would be arsonists.”

A number of schemes have been set up by the Brigade to reduce deliberate fires. Firefighters work closely with the Brigade’s Arson Task Force and local authorities to remove abandoned vehicles and fly tipping from the streets.

The Juvenile Firesetters Intervention Team (JFIS), which works with young people who show firesetting behaviour and London’s fire investigators work with the police to identify arson and bring arsonists to court.

Most Read

The sharp decline in deliberate fires 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. In August 2001 old steel scrap was �35 per tonne. Ten years later old steel scrap was more than five times more expensive at �185 per tonne.