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ARSON ATTACKS RISE; Deliberate fires are increasing after a decade of falls.

Byline: ALICE CACHIA

NEARLY 11 fires a day were deliberately started in homes across Great Britain last year, official figures have revealed.

The 3,852 arson attacks in 2016/17 is a rise for the first time in ten years, according to the Home Office.

Deliberate fires include both those to an individual's own property as well as to other people's homes.

In 2005/06, some 9,750 fires were deliberately started in homes. Numbers then dropped each year until 2015/16, when 3,788 arson attacks took place - the lowest figure ever recorded.

Firefighters blamed government spending cuts for the new increase, saying educational work aimed at preventing deliberate fires had been scaled back.

Dave Green, a national officer with the Fire Brigades Union, said: "This new increase in arson is very concerning and it puts both our members and the public at increased risk of being injured or even dying in a fire.

Nearly one died in an deliberate fire "But we don't think that this first rise in years has come out of the blue - cuts to the Fire and Rescue Service mean that a lot of the educational work that firefighters do in our communities has been cut back, so young people aren't getting the message about the impact of this anti-social, destructivbehaviour. "Educational and community outreach work has been at the heart of decreasing arson in the past - a fully funded, professionally run fire and rescue service is what is needed to nip this worrying problem in the bud once and for all."

person a day accidental or in 2016/17 The Home Office data also reveals that in 2016/17, some 326 people were killed in both deliberate and accidental fires - or nearly one a day.

The figure covers April to March so does not include the 71 people who died in the Grenfell Tower blaze last June. It is a decrease from the 368 people who died in fires the previous year.

It's estimated twice as a fire if you working A Home Office spokesperson said: "Many fire and rescue authorities carry out work, either independently or in conjunction with local partners, designed to reduce the incidence of deliberate fires, particularly among children and young people.

"It is for individual fire and rescue authorities to decide how best and where to deploy their fire prevention, protection and operational resources, based on a local assessment of the risks facing their communities, including from deliberately set fires."

that you're likely to die in live without a smoke alarm

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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Feb 15, 2018
Words:423
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