The Fire Safety Minister Phil Hope has announced over £9 million of funding over the 2003-06 period for new and innovative projects across the country aimed at tackling arson.

Among the successful projects are:

  • a new Community Fire Fighter project in Blackpool which will provide two uniformed officers to work with young people to reduce fire setting and anti social behaviour;

  • a new fire investigation team for the North East, based in Newcastle, which will help to develop a regional approach to the detection and prosecution of arson.

Additionally, projects that have proved effective in the past in driving down the number of malicious fires, such as car clearance schemes, will also receive a share of the funding from the Arson Control Forum (ACF) Implementation Fund.

The money comes from the Government’s £43 million three-year investment in community fire safety and arson reduction in England and Wales. This reinforces the key message of the Fire and Rescue Services Bill, published in January 2004, which places a greater emphasis on fire prevention work.

The funding also assists the Government’s wider neighbourhood renewal plans and complements the Anti-Social Behaviour Action Plan launched by the Prime Minister in October 2003.

The ACF provides strategic direction to the arson prevention programme, combating arson through an agreed action plan which should help the Government meet its target of reducing by 10% the number of deliberate fires by 31st March 2010 from the 2001/02 baseline The ACF Implementation Fund will enable the best arson reduction methods to be rolled out nationally.

Other successful schemes that will receive a share of the ACF funding include:

  • The establishment of an Arson task Force in Gloucestershire based on the model of existing task forces already set up around the country. It will target fires in vehicles, buildings and property, as well as rubbish fires. It will also take forward fire investigation and detection.

  • The Kent Car Clearance Scheme. “Operation Cubit” was pioneered in Kent and proved very successful. The value of the project lies not only in removing untaxed vehicles, but also in demonstrating that a multi-agency solution to the problem of abandoned vehicles and car fires can be developed and delivered. It is a very visible scheme that reassures the public that their concerns are being addressed in an effective manner.

For a full list, see our pop-up table of supported projects.

Last update: 13/02/04