The extent of vehicle arson tends to be linked to the numbers of abandoned vehicles. The government has now employed a range of initiatives which have ensured that many local authorities now have good measures in place to combat this problem. For example, new regulations were introduced in April 2002 enabling vehicles of no value, which comprise the majority of abandoned vehicles, to be removed by local councils after 24 hours. Other new powers enable local authorities to clamp and remove unlicensed vehicles and tighten vehicle registration procedures.
The Nuisance Vehicle Strategy launched in November 2004 sets out further action to reduce by 25% the number of abandoned cars by 2008: http://www.communities.gov.uk/ (follow the link to Urban Policy and then Cleaner Safer Greener Communities).
Additionally, the Arson Control Forum has sponsored a range of local arson reduction projects focusing on the removal of abandoned cars and better co-operation between the police, fire and rescue services and local authorities. These initiatives have had a significant impact.
The Forum has also commissioned research into the rise of vehicle arson. A report by the University of Liverpool (http://www.communities.gov.uk/index.asp?id=1124424) has established a link between car theft and arson with over half of all vehicles set on fire being stolen. The report shows that the cost of disposal and weak enforcement of licensing and registration to be important factors.
Last update: Wednesday, September 06, 2006